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Colorado’s Prolific Offense Should Exploit Soft-Tosser Kyle Kendrick

Colorado’s prolific offense is starting to hit its stride as the Rockies are batting .296 with a .351 on base percentage this season (5.2 runs per game), including hitting .367 with a .421 on base percentage at home (8.1 runs per game) and .303 with a .353 on base percentage versus right-handed starters (5.8 runs per game). The Rockies are batting .367 with a .998 OPS and 32 extra-base hits in seven home games this season and have scored at least eight runs in each of their five wins.

Colorado should continue its offensive surge against Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who owns a 5.83 ERA in five career starts at Coors Field. Overall, Kendrick is 3-3 with a career 6.17 ERA and 1.65 WHIP versus the Rockies, including yielding a combined 11 earned runs on 18 hits in his last two outings against Colorado (9.3 IP). Kendrick is also hindered by a very bad Philadelphia bullpen that owns a 5.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 2014, including an 8.23 ERA and 1.83 WHIP at night and a 5.81 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over the last seven games. I should also note that Kendrick’s true skill set was displayed during the second half of last season wherein he garnered a 6.91 ERA and 1.69 WHIP.

Meanwhile, Colorado starter Jordan Lyles, who was a former top prospect in the Astros’ organization, is pitching to secure a spot in the the rotation. Lyles owns a decent 4.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP this season, including posting a 1.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP at home. What makes Lyles so valuable is his elite groundball rate (55%), which is extremely important when taking the mound at Coors Field. Indeed, Lyles has induced 29 groundball outs in 16 2/3-innings of work this season. “That’s my mindset going into the game, to get quick outs on the ground,” Lyles said. “We have a tremendous infield, one of the better infields in the league. They know how to pick it. That’s what they do best.”

Lyles should improve his position within Colorado’s starting rotation against an anemic Philadelphia lineup that is batting just .253 with a .322 on base percentage (4.0 runs per game), including hitting .217 with a .276 on base percentage at night (3.2 runs per game) and .239 with a .305 on base percentage over the last seven contests (3.3 runs per game). On Friday, the top seven spots in Philadelphia’s lineup went 0-for-24, and I expect more of the same tonight as Colorado pitchers have limited opponents to six earned runs on a .198 batting average in the last four games.

I also like the fact that Lyles is supported by a very good Colorado bullpen that boasts a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP this season, including a 3.48 ERA and 1.01 WHIP at home and a 1.23 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over its last seven games. From a technical standpoint, Colorado is 29-11 (+13.4 units) as home favorites of -125 to -175 over the last two season. Take the Rockies and invest with confidence.

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