April 2, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) is congratulated by manager Bruce Bochy (15) after the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Bumgarner, Giants Open Up Series Against White-Hot Rockies

Seemingly a huge burden has been removed off the Giants’ backs. With a weekend full of chaotic, yet memorable, ceremonies overshadowing the actual games, the 2012 World Series is now a thing of the past. Sunday was the last time it will be referred to with celebrations.

San Francisco’s six-game homestand continues against the white-hot Colorado Rockies, who enters Monday’s series opener with a National League best 5-1 record. Of course, it’s early, but the Rockies have gotten off to an awfully good start. They’re fresh off a sweep of the San Diego Padres, and took two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers earlier last week.

They’re winning with the bats. They lead MLB in the following categories: home runs (13), total bases (121), batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.377), slugging percentage (.568) and OPS (.945). There’s more, but these are the primary stats.

The thing is, all of the Colorado’s stats have been produced in two extremely hitter friendly parks in Miller Park and Coors Field. In 2012, both stadiums ranked in the top 5 in home run factor, according to ESPN Park Factors. I’m not saying that the Rockies production has been entirely a product of the parks they’ve played in, but it’s certainly something to ponder upon.

AT&T Park is, well, not Coors Field or Miller Park. It’s quite the opposite, ranking last in home run factor in 2012. But the Rockies could benefit through their pitching, which has been surprisingly good so far. They’ve received five quality starts in six games this year, which is certainly a turnaround after a disastrous 2012 season.

But the trends aren’t exactly working in Colorado’s favor. They went 4-14 (2-7 at AT&T Park) against the Giants last year, and they haven’t won a series at AT&T Park since 2010.

Madison Bumgarner will try to stymie the Rockies powerful offense and prolong their woes against the Giants. In his season debut on Tuesday, he pitched eight scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Speaking of unfavorable trends working against the Rockies…

The 25-year-old went 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four starts against Colorado in 2012. For his career, he owns a 5-3 record with a 2.39 ERA, which is the second-lowest mark against the Rockies among active pitchers–Chris Carpenter has a 1.41 ERA.

The Giants offense, meanwhile, will face Jorge De La Rosa, who made only three starts in 2012 before having arm surgery.

De La Rosa has a stellar track record against the Giants. He owns a 7-3 record with a 3.35 ERA in 15 games (12 starts), and has won six straight games against the Giants spanning back to 2009. What’s more, the Rockies have an 11-4 record against San Francisco when De La Rosa pitches.

Giant killer? Perhaps.

Tags: Colorado Rockies Jorge De La Rosa Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants

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