A Capital Idea: Rockies Head to Washington, D.C.

Yes, the Rockies have had their struggles on the road since their inception. Only twice has the franchise even had a winning record on the road -- 41-40 in 2009 and 2017,

The Rockies, however, have found an oasis in the nation's capital. The Rockies have won nine of the 10 series they have played at Nationals Park in the 10 years it has been the home to the Washington Nationals, and their all-time record in the decade of playing in that park is the best in baseball.

The Big 3 in the Rockies lineup have been a particular problem for the Nationals pitchers, home and on the road, since the start of the 2017 season.  Nolan Arenado, D.J. LeMahieu and
Charlie Blackmon rank among the top three hitters against the Nationals in that period in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

The Rockies will be in for a challenge in their four-game visit to Nationals Park. The Nationals rotation is set up for the Rockies to face Gio Gonzalez in Thursday's opener, Max Scherzer on Saturday and Stephen Strasburg on Sunday. Since the start of last season, the only starting pitcher in the NL with a lower ERA than those three is Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. 

The Rockies have, however, had success against Strasburg (4-4, 3.97 lifetime against the Rockies) and Scherzer (0-1, 6.19 in three starts), but Gonzalez, despite a 3.58 ERA against the Rockies,is 4-0 in four career starts.

Chad Bettis can set the tone for the Rockies in Game 1 on Thursday night. He has had success since the start of the 2015 season against the five teams in the NL East. 

The Rockies do have their challenges keeping the Nationals offense in check. Trea Turner, alone, has scored 16 runs in his first 10 career games against the Rockies, tied with Jeff Blauser in 1993 with the Braves for the most runs in a player's first 10 career games against the Rockies. Turner also has hit .420 against the Rockies. He is among five National regulars hitting better than .300 against the Rockies. Michael A. Taylor (.156) is the only one of the seven Nationals to have played at least 10 games against the Rockies hitting lower than .288.

Tracy RingolsbyComment