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Josh Beckett's torrid stretch could come to an end when he travels to Coors Field.
Haren's Scheduled Starts: Monday (6/30) vs. Cleveland Indians; Saturday (7/5) at Colorado Rockies
Beckett's Scheduled Starts: Tuesday (7/1) vs. Cleveland Indians; Sunday (7/6) at Colorado Rockies
Let’s group teammates Dan Haren and Josh Beckett together since they face the same dilemma: Are they worth using during two-start weeks when the second game takes place in Coors Field?
For what it’s worth, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke make the other two starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their four-game series against the Colorado Rockies, but those two aces have earned the benefit of the doubt. Haren and Beckett are eons away from those hurlers on the pitching hierarchy.
The first start for each veteran comes against the Cleveland Indians, who aren't exactly an easy matchup either. They ranked eighth in runs scored, and Carlos Santana is scorching hot after a horrific start to the season.
Let’s start with Haren, whose sitting will draw less guilt from managers. He has a 5.20 ERA in June, and opponents have generated a .518 slugging percentage against him during those five starts. While his ERA continues to climb, currently inflated to 3.83 with a 4.52 FIP, his strikeout per nine innings rate has plummeted to a career-low 5.98.
Even without the trip to Coors, Haren would warrant a rest this week.
Beckett, on the other hand, presents a tougher decision. The 34-year-old has fired 14 straight scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.11. He has allowed just five earned runs during June, and this isn’t the first time he has dominated on the heels of a disastrous season.
Yet his fortuitous .231 BABIP, below his .289 career rate, along with his 88.4 percent strand rate and 3.77 FIP all point to an eventual decline. Battling the Rockies at Coors Field, where they hit .326/.376/.526, is the perfect time to produce that premonition.