The Arizona Diamondbacks are 2-3 to begin the 2021 season and this game will end their series against the Rockies. They are in the midst of a rebuild but they are entering the season with just the addition of infielder Asdrubal Cabrera in the offseason. Right-hander Merrill Kelly will be on the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is coming off his first start of the season and pitched four innings and allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.
The Colorado Rockies have a 1-4 record to begin 2021 after playing the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. They had a memorable offseason but not for the right reasons as they traded away franchise third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St Louis Cardinals and talks are brewing about a potential Trevor Story trade as well. They will be having righty Jon Gray on the mound as he is coming off a game where he went five innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers and allowed a run on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Build Around Your StarThe Diamondbacks are needing to get some production from the plate and it begins with center fielder Ketel Marte. He finished 2020 with a .287/.323/.732 slashline with two homers and 17 RBI in 45 games. He is 12-for-23 with two homers and five RBI in five games this season so he is coming into the season on a great foot. If he can continue to lead and start the season off right, they will be in a lot of close games.
Merrill Kelly didn’t have a great start to his 2021 season according to his Baseball Savant page. He is in the 14th percentile in average exit velocity, ninth percentile in hard hit percentage, 11th percentile in whiff percentage, and 75th percentile in chase percentage. He has a five-pitch arsenal (fastball, sinker, curveball, changeup, cutter) and threw a higher percentage of fastballs in the first start. He needs to build a better second pitch as his fastball has been incredible in the past two seasons. Batters hit .375 (3-for-8) in his first start of the season with two doubles and a homer off it. He hasn’t faced the Rockies since his rookie season so it will be interesting to see how he does with a young lineup with some pop in their lineup.
Living in a Gray AreaTrevor Story is going to be the talk around town as many people in baseball believe he will be traded but Colorado believes they will be able to agree to an extension. Story has an explosive bat as he finished the 2020 season with a .289/.355/.874 slashline with 11 homers and 28 RBI. He also was a threat on the basepaths as he added 15 stolen bases. So far this season, he is 5-for-22 with one RBI. He is going to be asked to do more on the offensive side of the game as they are without Arenado and Story is the slugger they want to have. He will be a beneficiary of Coors Field and the extra numbers it gives hitters so bank on that.
april7lineup_v2.jpg pic.twitter.com/oMbQFnHjuh— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 7, 2021
Jon Gray has an okay start to his 2021 campaign according to Baseball Savant. He is in the 77th percentile in strikeout percentage, eighth percentile in average exit velocity, 75th percentile in whiff percentage, and 17th percentile in hard hit percentage. He has a five-pitch arsenal (fastball, slider, changeup, curveball, sinker) and the changeup increased almost 10 percent season over season. The changeup needs some work as hitters did not allow a hit in four at-bats against the change in his first start of the season against an incredible lineup against Los Angeles. He pitched twice against the Diamondbacks last season and he went 9.1 innings and gave up nine runs on 14 hits with three walks and striking out seven batters. He needs some improvement if he wants to be successful here.
Trends found on Covers.com
- Colorado: 61-29 in their last 90 games as a home favorite
- Arizona: 1-11 in their last 12 during game 3 of a series
- Arizona: 6-17 in their last 23 road games