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Cardinals should destroy the Rockies

A series preview

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies are a somewhat surprising 19-18 on the season after sweeping the New York Mets at home over the weekend. Their run differential is exactly 0 and the projections have the team playing just a bit under .500 the rest of the way so perhaps their current record should not be that much of a surprise. In any event, the Cardinals should destroy the Rockies.

On the offensive side of the ball Nolan Arenado continues to mash with 13 homers on the season thus far. He plays an excellent third base and is the best Rockies player by a pretty wide margin. Someone who was perhaps once the Rockies best player and could still be a decent trade chip, Carlos Gonzalez has gotten off to a pretty middling start. The 30-year-old lefty is still dangerous even if he is in decline as he had a crazy streak last year that saw him hit 27 second-half home runs after a disappointing start.

After Arenado, Trevor Story has been the Rockies best regular on offense. He strikes out a ton and hasn't been quite as hot as his start when he took the league by storm. He walks a bit more, but his line resembles that of Randal Grichuk from last season. Regular catcher Nick Hudley is on the disabled list and Ryan Raburn has alos been above average, albeit in lesser playing time. Old friend Mark Reynolds has hit a bit above average at first for the Rockies and he remains a three true outcomes player.

Charlie Blackmon makes a lot of contact, but his numbers are a bit Coors Field aided as his wRC+ is average as are his projections. The shine is off D.J. Lemahieu a bit after making the All-Star team. He's another high-contact guy who seems to pretty average overall offensively. Tony Wolters is catching in Hundley's absence although Dustin Garneau will catch the first game of the series. Neither player is expected to do much on offense. Gerrardo Parra is a plyer the Rockies gave a multi-year deal to in the offseason for some reason.

Righty Chad Bettis starts game on of the series against he Cardinals. The 27-year-old has been very good at limiting walks this season, keeping them under 5% leading to a healthy, especially for Colorado, 3.87 FIP. He's gone at least 6 innings in all of his starts but his first, and he curiously has allowed all six of his homers on the road. Jaime Garcia, who has been fantastic this season as well as last, will take the mound for the Cardinals.

Lefty Chris Rusin takes the mound in game two of the series, and oddly, he has yet to give up a home run this season. Rusin made 20 starts with Cubs in 2012 and 2013, but has had a lackluster starting career. As much good luck as he has had with homers, he's had that much bad luck with BABIP as opponents are at .370 against him. Adam Wainwright tries to erase the last start from Cardinals' fans minds on Wednesday.

Jonathan Gray is likely the Rockies best starting pitcher and he will go on Thursday. The 24-year old has only made 14 big league starts but he has shown promise, striking out 25% of hitters, including 36 strikeouts against 7 walk in 28.2 innings this season. The righty mainly feature a mid-90s fastball and a slider so it will be imperative that the Cardinals lay off the slider on Thursday. Michael Wacha will also try to erase the memory of his last start when he takes the mound for the Cardinals.

The games Tuesday and Wednesday start at 7:15 while the finale on Thursday will start at 6:15. All games will be on Fox Sports Midwest.