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Series Preview: Rockies look to rebound against struggling Oakland team

The Colorado Rockies, fresh off being swept by the San Francisco Giants, now head across the Bay to Oakland to begin the final three-game series to wrap up their road trip. While the matchup isn’t exactly a contest of champions, it remains an important series for both basement-dwelling teams.

Here are a few things to watch for in Oakland.

Pitchings Probables*

5/21: Cal Quantrill (3-3, 3.66 ERA) vs. Aaron Brooks (0-1, 3.02 ERA)

5/22: Austin Gomber (1-2, 3.02 ERA) vs. Joey Estes (1-1, 9.35 ERA)

5/23: Ryan Feltner (1-4, 5.69 ERA) vs. TBD

*Subject to change

Can the Rockies rotation rebound?

A major key to the Rockies seven-game winning streak was stellar pitching but their three straight losses to the Giants highlighted a major issue for the Rockies rotation and bullpen. The team has the benefit of sending Cal Quantrill and Austin Gomber to the mound, both of whom have combined for an ERA under 1.00 for the month of May. Ryan Feltner is likely to round things out in the series finale but he has yet to put together enough consistency start to start.

The advantage for the Rockies is that the A’s aren’t exactly the most threatening lineup. The majority of their production is coming from Brent Rooker and Shea Langeliers while JJ Bleday, Tyler Nevin, and Abraham Toro are contributing as well. The team’s .674 OPS is slightly worse than the Rockies while having the second most strikeouts in baseball. While the advantage isn’t vast, the Rockies do have a slight edge pitching-wise facing off against a less-than-ideal offense. Should the Rockies want another winning streak, the rotation and pitching staff will have to rebound and limit walks and hits.

Home run production

For a team that once prided itself on power, the Rockies have struggled to hit home runs this season. Their 37 home runs as a team are tied for the second-fewest in all of baseball. For all their offensive problems, the A’s have found their power stroke with 58, the fourth-most in baseball. Multiple players have 10 or more home runs for the A’s while Ryan McMahon’s seven long balls lead the Rockies. The Rockies have done better as of late not relying solely on the long ball, but it’s a weakness that still needs improvement.

The return of Kris Bryant and Nolan Jones

The Rockies hope that the impending returns of Kris Bryant and Nolan Jones will go a long way in helping the offense find a boost. Both Bryant and Jones have struggled early this season, with just two home runs between them. Strikeouts have been a major problem before both were sidelined with back issues. During their rehab assignments in Triple-A, both looked better, even if the counting stats didn’t show it, but there is still a concern about how they will fit back into the lineup and if they can be productive.

While Jones easily slots back into left field the placement of Bryant becomes more troublesome. If the Rockies commit to Jordan Beck in right field, then Bryant will have to spend more time at first base and DH, cutting into the playing time of Elehuris Montero. However they go about figuring it out, it remains certain the Rockies will have to remain committed to playing their $182 million man.



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