Rockies German Marquez: A road warrior worth adding

Fantasy owners are told to pass on Rockies pitchers. However, when those pitchers are doing well on the road, that’s something you can’t avoid.

We all know about the effect Coors Field has on fly balls. That’s why fantasy owners stock up on their offensive weapons and tend to avoid the starting pitchers. Playing in Colorado for 81 games can help elevate numbers on both sides of the ball. Though, when a Rockies pitcher has three successful road starts, you need to take notice.

German Marquez made his MLB debut on April 25. He had the tough task of facing the Washington Nationals in Colorado. The Nationals lit up Marquez for eight runs on nine hits and three walks in just four innings.

He pitched six shutout innings with six hits, one walk and eight strikeouts against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road. Marquez’s next home start, against the same Diamondbacks team, was not good. He allowed five runs (two home runs) in six innings.

I won’t go into each of his six starts, but the first three are the start of a trend with Marquez. He owns a 6.50 ERA and a 1-2 record at home while posting a 1.06 ERA and 2-0 record on the road. Marquez did pitch eight shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs at home, though.

His strikeout rate is also better away from Colorado. Marquez strikes out just 6.5 batters per nine innings at home while striking out 9.0 batters per nine away from Coors.

Fantasy owners are taking notice of Marquez’s success. He has been picked up in 11 percent of ESPN leagues over the last week, up to 16.1 percent overall. His next start is at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 28.

The Cardinals ae hitting .263 in May and .256 on the road. Though, with limited power options on the roster, I don’t see St. Louis taking advantage of playing in Colorado.

Marquez’s start after that will likely be June 2 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, a well-known pitcher’s park. If you want Marquez, make sure you add him before that game.

Marquez entered the rotation when Jon Gray landed on the 10-day DL. Even when Gray returns, I think Marquez pitched well enough to remain in the rotation for the rest of the season. With starting pitchers getting hurt at a rapid pace this season, Marquez will get more love soon. He has three straight quality starts and the potential to make it five by the end of next week.