Freddie Freeman and the LA Dodgers will travel to the mile-high city on Friday afternoon to take on Kris Bryant and the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.
As division rivals in the National League West, both teams will be looking to get things started off agreeably.
Last season, the Dodgers finished the year with a record of 106-56, just a game behind the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers record was enough for them to clinch a wild card spot. They ended up making it all the way to the National League Championship Series, where they lost against the eventual World Series-winning Atlanta Braves.
The Rockies had a very different season, finishing 74-87, 31.5 games behind the Dodgers.
LA Dodgers Injury Report
Despite having a fairly clean health bill, the LA Dodgers are currently experiencing some injuries among their bullpen pitching staff, including some long-term disabled list assignments.
The most prominent is right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson. Nelson, 32, underwent surgery last August to repair a flexor tendon in his pitching arm. The prognosis for his return does not have him back on the field anytime soon. In fact, it is likely that Nelson will miss the entirety of the 2022 MLB season. Although he began his career as a starter for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers used him as a reliever before his surgery last summer.
“From a distance can see Dustin May throwing a bullpen here at Dodger Stadium. On track for a summer return from Tommy John.” – @ John Hartung
Additionally, Nelson’s bullpen colleague, Dustin May, has also been placed on the 60-day DL. The right-hander is recovering from Tommy John surgery and may return later in the season, according to the Dodgers.
A number of other players are day-to-day, including left fielder Andrew Toles and starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson.
Colorado Rockies Injury Report
The Rockies are also lucky insofar as they do not have too many injuries to concern themselves with.
However, notable DL assignments include starting pitcher Ryan Rolison, assigned to the 60-day DL with a left shoulder strain.
“Rockies placed LHP Lucas Gilbreath and RHP Robert Stephenson on the COVID-19 IL. Justin Lawrence and Jordan Sheffield were recalled from Triple-A” – @ Danielle Allentuck
Rolison joins fellow starting pitcher Peter Lambert, who is on the DL with forearm inflammation.
Bullpen reliever Robert Stephenson is day-to-day as he has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list on Wednesday.
LA Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies Predicted Batting Orders
Dodgers fans can look forward to the leadoff combination of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. Betts, with one of the highest OBPs in the league last year, will undoubtedly be driven home by Freeman’s strong bat very often.
The lineup can be seen below:
- Mookie Betts, CF
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Trea Turner, SS
- Max Muncy, DH
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Will Smith, C
- Chris Taylor, RF
- Cody Bellinger, LF
- Gavin Lux, 2B
Featuring some speed in the way of Charlie Blackmon in the leadoff spot, the Rockies also have some versatility. Randal Grichuk and Kris Bryant can play around the field. Jose Iglesias has big shoes to fill after the departure of Trevor Story.
The Rockies lineup can be seen below:
- Charlie Blackmon, DH
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Ryan McMahon, 3B
- CJ Cron, 1B
- Brendan Rogers, 2B
- Randal Grichuk, LF
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Sam Hilliard, CF
- Elias Diaz, C
With both teams set on the same division title, and both relatively healthy, this game will be an interesting preview of what is to come next. As many pundits favor the LA Dodgers for the pennant, the Rockies certainly have their work cut out for them.