Playoff contenders will be vying to gain an edge in the standings this weekend as teams in American and National League West prepare to do battle. Many intriguing matchups are on the schedule this weekend.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
The Dodgers currently own a 12-game winning streak against their closest rival in the National League West. Last weekend in Los Angeles, the Dodgers won in historic fashion by having three rookies hit walk-off home runs to seal the deal. The week, the runs should come in abundance as they play in the thin air of Coors Field. The Dodgers needed another last-inning comeback to win the first game on Thursday, going into the ninth tied 8-8. The Rockies have kept it close but have been unable to punch through a victory. Pitching for the Dodgers this weekend will be Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda. The Rockies will counter with Antonio Senzatela, Jon Gray and rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez. The bullpen will make or break this series for the Rockies.
St.Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres
The Padres seem to have found their stroke at the right time. Currently in third place in the NL West, and a game and a half back of Colorado, San Diego is 6-4 in their last 10 games and swept the Brewers last weekend. They will get to show if they belong in the playoff discussion this weekend against the Cardinals. Franmil Reyes has slugged 22 home runs this season and Hunter Renfroe has crushed 24 himself. Machado has been on a hot streak lately, hitting .409 with seven RBIs in his last seven games. The Padres will send Eric Lauer, rookie Chris Paddack and Joey Lucchesi to the mound. They will face Michael Wacha, Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals.
Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
This matchup is intriguing for only one reason: How many times will Astro pitchers strikeout Seattle batters? The Mariners have swung and missed a lot lately. And with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole on the hill Saturday and Sunday, the strikeout numbers could be astronomical. Cole currently has the second highest K/9 rate in the Majors, with 151 for the season. Verlander has 142 for the season, with 32 in 21 innings in his last three starts. As a team, Seattle currently leads the Majors with 829 total strikeouts, 30 more than Texas. This could get ugly.
Other West Games
The American League West is currently one of the hottest divisions. The Rangers, Athletics and Angels have won seven of their last 10. The Rangers have cut into the Astros lead, and are currently four and a half games back. The Angels have moved above .500. This weekend, the Athletics will travel to Anaheim to face the Angels. Mike Trout has been amazing as usual, hitting .328 with four home runs in his last 15 games. Justin Upton has returned to the Angels lineup and has added a needed hot bat. He is batting .306 since returning from the injured list. Matt Chapman will look to stay hot as well for the Athletics. Texas travels to Tampa Bay in a battle of the two Wild Card teams. Both will look to gain an upper edge. The final matchup will pit the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Francisco Giants. With the struggles of the Giants lately, Madison Bumgarner could play his final game in San Francisco on Sunday.
Featured image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
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