Kyle Freeland has yet to stray from the National League West in his rookie season.
The homegrown rookie has made two starts against the Dodgers, one at Arizona, one versus San Francisco and another against the Padres. He’s shut down every team but one.
He’s thrown 10 innings and given up two runs against the Dodgers, six innings and one run in Arizona, and seven shutout against the Giants. Only the Padres have gotten a piece of Kyle Freeland, five starts into this career.
That may come as a surprise to you. It also may not, because Freeland gets a chance to check San Diego off the list this afternoon when he makes his first career start at Petco Park. The road Rockies are listed as a pick’em.
Freeland’s opponent with be another young starter in the division: Luis Perdomo of the Dominican Republic.
As a rookie last season, Perdomo started 20 games and appeared in relief in another 15. All in all, he logged just short of 150 innings and finished a game below replacement level with a 5.71 ERA.
If April is any indication, he’s taken a step forward this year. He landed on the Disabled List after his first start with a minor shoulder problem but he’s come back to make two more starts since. So far, all of his numbers are marginally improved.
Opponents are hitting .262 against him, compared to .310 last season; he’s only given up one home run, versus 23 in 2016; and both his WHIP and ERA are down, though still worse than league average.
Perdomo is off of his cleanest start this season, six innings of one-run ball in San Francisco, where he didn’t walk a batter.
He did face Miami two starts ago, but today’s matchup with the Rockies will be Perdomo’s stiffest test yet. The Rockies are still tops in the NL West and are coming off of 14 hits and 11 runs last night.
Ian Desmond finally made his presence felt in the Rockies’ lineup after missing the first 25 games of the season. Desmond homered for the first two times in a Colorado uniform. He lengthens the lineup, hitting fifth behind Carlos Gonzalez.
The Rockies are in the top half of offensive production in the National League despite CarGo’s struggles. Colorado’s clean-up hitter is hitting just .206 with two homers.
DJ LaMahieu is the other guy at the top of the lineup who hasn’t quite gotten going yet. A year after hitting .348, LaMahieu (a .298 career hitter) is at .262. That’s not totally wacky, but expect an uptick from him sooner rather than later.
The Rockies are a -2 net, ahead of both the Diamondbacks (+31) and Dodgers (+27). Colorado probably won’t stay atop the division for long but they won’t give it up quite yet. I like Freeland’s chances against the Padres and pitching his team to a low-scoring win.
Free Pick: Colorado (PK)