Dreadful in Kansas City, Jorge De La Rosa has become an underrated effective pitcher in Colorado.
De La Rosa is slated to take the mound on Tuesday night at 5:05 PT when the Rockies meet Chicago in the second of their three-game series at Wrigley Field.
The 30-year-old De La Rosa is healthy and aiming to have his finest season. He’s 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
It’s the ERA and WHIP that are surprisingly good for De La Rosa, a high strikeout pitcher who has had control and long ball problems. Also excellent is his ground outs-to-fly outs ratio, which is 3 ½-to-1.
De La Rosa had ERA’s above 5.00 when throwing for the Royals in 2006 and 2007. But the southpaw has turned the corner with the switch to the National League having gone 35-24 in three plus seasons with the Rockies.
Colorado is 30-13 the past 43 times De La Rosa has started. De La Rosa is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his career against the Cubs.
The Rockies have won eight of their first 11 road games. Colorado had the fourth-worst away mark in the National League last year at 31-50.
The Rockies are leading the National League West despite down seasons so far from two of their biggest stars. Ubaldo Jimenez has yet to win a game while outfielder Carlos Gonzalez entered this week batting just .228 with one home run.
Jimenez was 19-8 last season. Gonzalez batted .336 with 34 homers and 117 RBIs in 2010.
Troy Tulowitzki, however, is living up to high expectations of perhaps being the best shortstop in baseball going into this series hitting .333 with seven home runs. He hasn’t hit well in nine previous games at Wrigley Field, though, going into this season batting .162 there with one home run.
The Rockies currently rank sixth in the majors in runs scored at more than five per game. The ‘over’ has cashed in 12 of their last 15 games through this past Sunday.
Colorado figures to do damage against 25-year-old lefty James Russell, a reliever who has been forced to start due to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner being on the disabled list.
This would be just the third start for Russell if Cubs manager Mike Quade decides to stick with him. Russell has struggled going 1-2 with an 8.00 ERA.
The Rockies took two of three from the Cubs at Coors Field from April 15-17. The Rockies are 54-25 versus NL Central Division foes. Colorado traditionally has struggled at Wrigley Field, though.
Going into this series, the Rockies had lost 11 of their last 12 in Chicago. The Rockies are used to unpredictable weather playing in Denver. The forecast for Wrigley Field on Tuesday night is temperatures in the 50s with the wind blowing out to right field at 13 mph and a 45 percent chance of rain.
This is the Cubs’ eighth of nine consecutive home games. Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is 10-for-19 during the first six games of the homestand. The Cubs also have been getting excellent hitting from their middle infield.
Shortstop Starlin Castro was leading the team in batting at .376 while second baseman Darwin Barney had hit safely in 13 of his first 16 starts.
Chicago is 5-1 the past six times it has faced a left-hander at home.
The ‘over’ had cashed in Chicago’s last four games at Wrigley Field entering this series. The ‘over’ also was 5-1-1 the previous seven times these teams have met heading into the series.
After Wednesday’s series finale, the Cubs go on a seven-game road trip beginning Thursday at Arizona.
The Rockies return home to host Pittsburgh in a three-game series starting Friday before heading back out on the road for six games facing Arizona and San Francisco.