Right-hander Chad Bettis is healthy and ready to make his 2019 debut for the Rockies Monday night at Tampa Bay. It’s as good a place as any for Bettis to take the mound. It is, after all, on the road.
And a year ago, Bettis, before his season was disrupted by a never-ending battle with blisters, was dominate on the road. He was 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA.
Jon Lester of the Cubs was 6-1 with a 2.96 ERA. Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb was 5-1 with a 2.49 ERA. Max Scherzer of the Nationals was 6-3 with a 2.05 ERA.
-- The Rays use of an opener will be an interesting test for the Rockies. They were amog baseball’s most productive teams in the first inning last year. They hit .272, sixth in MLB and fourth in the NL. They had an .846 OPS, which was third in both MLB and the NL. Their 39 home runs in the first inning were tied for first in MLB. They ranked third in the NL in first-inning extra base hits (73), RBI (101) and runs (104). They were both in MLB in the extra-base hit department, and sixth in both RBI and runs.
-- Rockies outfielder David Dahl goes into Monday night looking to extend his season-opening hitting streak to five games. If he does, he will join Carlos Gonzalez (2010, 2014 and 2016), Todd Helton (2000, 2006 and 2008) and Troy Tulowitzki (2009, 2013 and 2015) as the only Rockies with a season-starting hitting streak of five or more games three times. Dahl hit in 17 consecutive games when he debuted with the Rockies during the 2016 season, and hit in his first five games a year ago.
-- The Rockies went 13-7 (.650) in inter-league play a year ago, the third best record vs. AL teams in their history. They were 11-4 (.733) in both 2009 and 2006.
-- And, some numbers to consider: