Dodgers @ Rockies July 16, 2021: Urías begins the second half

After a 56-35 record prior to the All-Star break, the Dodgers start the second half up against the Colorado Rockies (40-51) in a three game series. The team will play ten consecutive games to open this half of the season, starting with these three in Colorado, before four against the San Francisco Giants (57-32) in Los Angeles, and three more against Colorado, also in Los Angeles. On the mound tonight, the Dodgers have Julio Urias up against the right-handed Chi Chi Gonzalez. Urías has made eighteen starts this year, and the Dodgers have a 14-4 (.778) record with him on the mound.

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5:40 PM Denver
RF Betts CF Hampson
1B Muncy (L) 2B Rodgers
3B Turner SS Story
C Smith RF Blackmon (L)
CF Bellinger (L) 1B Cron
2B Taylor 3B McMahon (L)
LF Pollock C Díaz
SS Lux (L) LF Owings
P Urías (L) P González (R)

Are the Rockies bad? Yes and no.

In the first half, the Dodgers had the third ranked offense by wRC+ at 111, compared to the dead last Colorado Rockies at 77 wRC+. Colorado performs better against left-handed pitching, with a 92 wRC+ compared to 72 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. That’s still not good, but it is better. The Dodgers feature a 114 wRC+ and .766 OPS against right-handed pitching, just trailing the Houston Astros. Just a fun stat, Justin Turner has a career average of .352 against the Rockies over 119 games, with a .968 OPS.

The Dodgers are 6-1 against the Rockies this season with the only loss coming on opening day. The Rockies are 9-4 since 6/28, tied with the Dodgers (9-4), both just trailing the Reds at 10-4 over that stretch in the National League. The Rockies are 31-17 at home (.646), a winning percentage that would be the highest in baseball if they weren’t 9-34 (.209) on the road.

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Here’s how Urías and González matchup.

Gonzalez picked up the win his last time out against the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings. He’s faced the Dodgers twice this season, both very early on and both coming in relief. He went two innings on Opening Day, allowing three runs on five hits, but ended up securing the win as the Dodgers started the season 0-1. He appeared later in the series in the same role, but went three scoreless innings allowing just two walks.

Thirteen of his seventeen appearances have been as a starter, including his last six appearances. It hasn’t been great lately, with a 6.48 ERA, 5.77 FIP and 1.44 WHIP over those six starts and 33.1 innings. One of those included eight earned runs allowed over five innings to the Miami Marlins (39-51), although I’ll avoid commenting about this, considering the Dodgers almost got swept by them.

Antonio Senzatela was initially going to start, but he isn’t anymore due to COVID-19 Protocols that I’ll mention later. Anyways, here’s the little information I gathered before they scratched him.

Senzatela took the loss last Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five over six innings. Over his first five seasons in the majors, Senzatela has a 7.08 ERA over 48.1 innings pitched against the Dodgers. He has a career 4.92 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, but if he never faced the Dodgers, those would drop down to 4.70 and 1.39.

Urías allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out nine across seven innings last time out, earning his eleventh win of the season. He’s currently tied with Kyle Hendricks for the most wins in baseball at eleven, and is one of just five pitchers with ten or more wins. He has an outside shot at 20 wins this season, which isn’t the most indicative stat of pitcher performance, but it’s still a fun stat and has only been done 23 times over the last ten seasons. He had a brutal start on 6/21 against the Padres, allowing six earned runs on six hits and four walks over four innings, including four earned runs before he managed to get an out. Since then he’s bounced back significantly, allowing just four earned runs over his next three starts and 18.1 innings, for a 1.96 ERA and 2.95 FIP, with a 32.4% strikeout rate and 24 strikeouts over that stretch.

Similar to Senzatela with the Dodgers, Urías has struggled against the Rockies, with a 5.13 ERA against Colorado. Urias has a 3.34 ERA in his career, but if he never faced the Rockies, that would drop down to 3.05. He’s faced the Rockies twice this season, in his first and third starts of the season. In that first start he went seven innings allowing just one run on three hits, whereas in his other start against them, he went six innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits, two home runs, and two walks. By game score that was one of his worst starts of the season. Hopefully he doesn’t have the same struggles tonight.

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Here’s a compilation of a few issues the Rockies are currently going through that has resulted in four players, including tonight’s initial starter Senzatela, on the COVID IL for the time being.

Supposedly all the Dodgers have been extensively tested, because Bud Black was also in close proximity with Dave Roberts during the All-Star game.

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Good news, as Corey Seager inches closer to his return.

Fine news with Clayton Kershaw because it’s not bad news.

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The Dodgers claimed Sherfy off waivers from the Giants earlier this week, which is fine. Maybe the Dodgers can turn him into something, or maybe not. Either way, he’s here.

I’m unsure if there’s a set way that MLB determines whether or not a game or series is to be postponed due to COVID-19 Protocol. The Red Sox and Yankees game yesterday got postponed, but the Dodgers Rockies series is still on track. Not my job, but it’s interesting to try and follow.

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First pitch is at 5:40 PM PDT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!