Rockies in Boston, Embarking on the American Way
The Rockies open a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
It is the start of the most interleague heavy portion of their schedule.
The Rockies will play inte-league opponents in eight of their next 18 games. In addition to the two games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Rockies will host three-game visits by the Orioles May 24-26, and Blue Jays May 30-June 1.
They have played only three games against an AL team so far -- losing two of three at Tampa Bay April 1-3. And after their current stretch, they will have games remaining against the Astros at Coors Field July 2-3, and at Houston Aug. 6-7; the Yankees at Yankee Stadium July 19-21; and the Aug. 27-28 visit to Coors by the Red Sox.
All-time the Rockies rank 13th among NL teams with a .452 winning percentage against the AL, but since 2017 the Rockies are 24-19, a .558 winning percentage that is tied with the Brewers for the fifth best among NL teams.
The Rockies are playing AL East teams for the first time since 2016. And while the AL East has the reputation for being an elite division, the Rockies have not had a particular problem against AL East teams -- other than the Blue Jays. The Orioles are one of five AL teams against which the Rockies have a winning record. And they are just one game below .500 against the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees. Thier .390 winning percentage against the Blue Jays (7-11) is the franchise's third worst against an interleague opponent.
Kyle Freeland and German Marquez get the call to start the two games in Boston. That gives the Rockies hope. Freeland and Marquez have been two of the more successful NL pitchers in interleague play since the start of 2017.
Freeland is 6-1 against AL teams, one win behind Jon Lester, who is 7-4. Marquez, meanwhile, is 5-0, and tied with Patrick Corbin and Clayton Kershaw to be unbeaten with four or more interleague starts since the start of 2017.
The two Rockies pitchers also rank sixth (Freeland) and seventh (Marquez) among National League starting pitchers in interleague ERA since the start of 2017. Aaron Nola of the Phillies is the NL leader at 1.55. Freeland has a 1.95 ERA, and Marquez's ERA is 2.02.
And the Rockies lineup has made an impact since the start of 2017 as well, led by Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado -- who else?
Since the start of 2017, Blackmon leads all NL hitters in interleague play with 34 runs scored, ranks second with 12 home runs, and is tied for 11th in average with Cody Bellinger at .313. Nolan Arenado is right behind Blackmon with 11 home runs, tied with Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs for third among NL hitters.