It’s time for divisional play to start ramping up. The Rockies head out today for their first big divisional road trip of 2018. They’ll start with two games against the San Diego Padres, then follow it up with a four against the San Francisco Giants, and conclude a three-game series Los Angeles Dodgers. In three notorious “pitcher’s parks,” there is extra pressure on this streaky offense to score early and often, and for the defense to play well to prevent the other team from doing just that against them.

Currently, the Rockies trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by 2.5 games. The Giants are third, only two games behind the Rockies. The Dodgers and Padres are fourth and fifth respectively, sitting 8 and 9 games out of first place. Out of the entire National League West, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are the only teams with a winning record. The Giants just broke a six game losing streak yesterday, and the Dodgers have lost four straight.

Here are some things to pay attention to during this upcoming road trip.

Familiarity helps (or not)

Just like any divisional series, it can help that these teams see each other 19 times per year. Everybody knows how everyone works, so they know how to attack them (but hopefully not physically). They also know the parks much better than the others that they see only a handful of times per year. That doesn’t mean they still don’t have to be prepared, but it might help a little bit.

Offensive consistency

The Rockies’ offense has been streaky. They seem to either score enough for fans to get tacos or score fewer than two runs. In order to be successful on this road trip, they need to find a way to score if they want to outduel the opposition.

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