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Dodgers head to Colorado, facing the good version of the Rockies

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The post-break schedule is underway

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The All-Star break is over, and now it’s back to business, which for the Dodgers means 16 games over the next 17 days, all against the National League West. Up first is a weekend jaunt to Coors Field, where the good version of the Rockies reside.

Colorado has been a tale of two teams in 2021. They don’t have any flashing road losing streaks like Arizona or Baltimore but have just been consistently bad away from home, with the worst record in the majors at 9-34.

But at Coors Field the Rockies are 31-17, the fifth-best home record in MLB. They haven’t lost a series in Denver since June 4-6. Colorado has only dropped four of 15 home series this season. The Dodgers delivered one of those series losses, taking three of four in the first series of the season.

The biggest difference between home and road has been Colorado’s offense, scoring almost exactly double the runs at Coors Field as they do in away games.

Rockies split personality

Split Runs/game BA/OBP/SLG wRC+ Runs allowed ERA
Split Runs/game BA/OBP/SLG wRC+ Runs allowed ERA
Home 5.60 .280/.340/.471 90 4.54 4.10
Road 2.81 .204/.279/.305 61 5.12 5.25

The Rockies’ home-road disparity has long been exacerbated by a Coors Field lag effect — Mike Petriello at MLB.com has written about this a few times over the years — but scoring twice as many runs at home as on the road is wild, even for the Rockies.

Rockies offenses, home and away

Year Runs (home) Games (home) Runs/G (home) Runs (road) Games (road) Runs/G (road) Home increase
Year Runs (home) Games (home) Runs/G (home) Runs (road) Games (road) Runs/G (road) Home increase
2016 508 81 6.27 337 81 4.16 +50.7%
2017 488 81 6.02 336 81 4.15 +45.2%
2018 445 81 5.49 335 82 4.09 +34.5%
2019 500 81 6.17 335 81 4.14 +49.3%
2020 153 30 5.10 122 30 4.07 +25.4%
2021 269 48 5.60 121 43 2.81 +99.2%
Totals 1855 321 5.78 1249 317 3.94 +46.7%

But even with the massive chasm between the Rockies home and road offenses, perhaps their pitching has been the biggest surprise. Colorado has allowed fewer runs per game at home as they have on the road.

Antonio Senzatela, who starts Friday’s series opener for the Rockies, is one of the pitchers who has been much better at home (3.75 ERA, 3.66 FIP) than on the road (6.03 ERA, 4.45 FIP) this year. The Dodgers had their way with the right-hander in two locations in April, scoring 12 runs on 14 hits in six innings, including three home runs off him in Los Angeles on April 13.

In his 15 starts against non-Dodgers teams this season, Senzatela has a 3.77 ERA. That includes a 2.70 ERA in nine starts at Coors Field after the Dodgers beat him on April 2.

Julio Urías had his own success in Denver this season, allowing one run in seven innings, striking out six on April 4. That’s one of five starts of at least seven innings this season for Urías. The only Dodgers pitcher with more is Walker Buehler, with six.

The Dodgers last lost a series at Coors Field from August 10-12, 2018, a three-game sweep by the Rockies. Since then, LA is 5-0-1 in series and 15-6 in games in Denver.

Game info

Teams: Dodgers (56-35) at Rockies (40-51)

Location: Coors Field, Denver

Time: 5:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA