Friday, May 20th 5:05pm: Eddie Butler (2-1 4.74 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (4-3 3.05 ERA)
Cole is coming off his best start of the season, 8 innings of shutout ball against the Cubs, and will be carrying some major momentum from that game into this series. The Rockies will counter with Eddie Butler who has been more effective than in seasons past, but is still not exactly where the Rockies want him to be. He won his last game against the Mets, but primarily because of the Rockies offense. This will be a tough game to pull out, but if the Rockies offense continues what they did last night against Cole, they will have a shot to start this series with a win.
Saturday, May 21st 2:05pm: Tyler Chatwood (5-3 3.20 ERA) vs. Jon Niese (4-2 5.28 ERA)
This game could really tell a story for Tyler Chatwood. If he pitches like he did in his last couple of home starts, it could be bad news as his earlier road starts may have been flukes. But what is much more likely in my mind is Chatwood coming out and dominating like he has on the road all year long. Niese hasn’t been great this year, but is coming off of a better start. The Rockies will hope to replicate what they did against him at home earlier this year when they got to him for five runs in five innings. This is the game of the series that probably favors them the most.
Sunday, May 22nd 11:35pm: Chad Bettis (4-2 4.18 ERA) vs. Juan Nicasio (4-3 4.46 ERA)
The Rockies didn’t face Nicasio last time he came to town, but will get him in this series. The Rockies batters have hit .321 against Nicasio in limited at-bats, but depending on what Nicasio shows up he could exit early from getting slugged. Chad Bettis is a good counter for this game as he has been the second best pitcher for the Rockies and the most consistent at getting at least six innings into the game. Anchoring a series with a pitcher like Bettis is perfect as even if the starters get beat up in the first two games, they should get some length out of Bettis. This is a series the Rockies need to win at least two games in, but they would be much better off returning the favor of a sweep to the Pirates. That will give them some momentum and make a winning road trip much more possible.