San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija has enjoyed success against the Rockies, going 3-2 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in seven career starts. The veteran hurler is also coming off a solid 2016 campaign where he posted a 3.81 ERA and a 3.85 FIP.
In 89.1 innings pitched at AT&T Park last year, Samardzija posted a 3.53 ERA, 3.28 FIP and a 21.7% strikeout rate. Samardzija seems to have figured out how to limit the long ball by left-handed batters, limiting lefties to just two home runs in 110 at bats in his final ten National League starts last season.
The key to keeping the ball in the park has been the increased use of his splitter and fastball. The 32-year-old is also backed by a strong San Francisco bullpen that owns a 1.15 ERA and 0.70 WHIP at home and a 1.53 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in its last seven games.
Colorado takes the field with a struggling lineup that is averaging just 3.4 runs per game this season (.291 OBP; .680 OPS), including 3.3 runs per game versus right-handed starters, 3.1 runs per game versus National League West foes and 3.1 runs over its last seven contests.
Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela is off to a quick start in 2017, posting a 1.50 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his first two outings. However, the 22-year-old has been extremely lucky with batted balls in play (.200 BABIP) and the number of runners stranded on base (94.3% LOB%). He has also issued four walks in 12 innings of work (8.5% BB%).
The other issue facing Senzatela is a lack of endurance as he has been losing about 2 mph of velocity over the course of five innings. The drop in velocity isn’t surprising in that the young hurler only pitched 34 innings last year due to a shoulder injury and is still building up his stamina.
From a technical standpoint, the Rockies are 5-14 in their last 19 games following a win and 1-4 in their last five games versus right-handed starters, whereas San Francisco is 10-4 in its last fourteen games following a loss and 5-1 in its last six games after scoring two runs or less in its previous affair.
With San Francisco standing at 4-0 in its last four games with umpire Bruce Dreckman behind home plate, take the Giants in this National League showdown and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports’ Free National League Pick: San Francisco Giants