Major League Baseball

Marquez, Rockies set to face Astros’ All-Star lineup

mlb9ASTROS (53-32) AT ROCKIES (44-40)

David Dahl was humble and excited that he was selected to his first All-Star Game. The Colorado Rockies (-1.5) outfielder has battled injuries in the past couple of years but is enjoying a breakout season in 2019, highlighted by his selection to the National League team on Sunday.

He hit a towering three-run homer in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5) on Sunday, a game in which the pitching staff faltered once again.

Next up for Dahl and Colorado is a two-game interleague series against the Houston Astros (+1.5) that begins Tuesday in Denver.

The Rockies’ starter, German Marquez (8-3, 4.29 ERA), has emerged as the ace of a staff that has been plagued by inconsistency and injury. Marquez will be facing the Astros for the second time in his career. In his only other start against them, he allowed one run over seven innings in a win at Houston on Aug. 14, 2018.

The Astros announced Monday that 24-year-old right-hander Jose Urquidy will start and make his major league debut against the Rockies. Urquidy, who is not on the 40-man roster, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016. He was the Opening Day starter at Double-A Corpus Christi and moved up to Triple-A Round Rock after seven appearances (six starts).

Overall in the minors this year, Urquidy is 5-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 15 games (13 starts).

Urquidy will face a Colorado offense that has been in a groove at home for the last month. Third baseman Nolan Arenado is one of the best two-way players in baseball, Trevor Story has emerged as one of the top shortstops in the league, and Charlie Blackmon is on a tear since returning from the injured list in late May.

All three will join Dahl at the All-Star Game. Story, who has been on the 10-day injured list since June 20 with a sprained right thumb, is expected to be activated for the start of the series against Houston.

Dahl is the only first-time All-Star among the four, and he has taken a tough path to get the honor. He has battled injuries, including a short stint on the IL earlier this season, but is hitting .317 with 12 home runs in 2019.

“I’ve been through a lot in my career. A lot of crazy things have happened, and (I’ve) persevered through them,” Dahl said Sunday. “I’ve had my wife there by my side, my family and friends.”

The Astros have six players on the AL All-Star team, including starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole and reliever Ryan Pressly. The good news for Colorado is it won’t have to face either starter in this two-game series. The Rockies will have to contend with the hitters who made the AL team — Alex Bregman, George Springer and Michael Brantley.

Verlander is making his eighth appearance on an AL All-Star roster.

“I’ve had the opportunity to do it before,” he said after the reserves were announced Sunday. “It’s a pretty unique event. It’s a very different feeling. It was a lot of fun.”

Houston leads all of baseball with its six All-Star selections, and it’s hard to argue with their inclusion. The AL Central-leading Astros are coming off of a sweep of the Seattle Mariners (+1.5) and are tied for second in the AL with 53 wins.

–Field Level Media

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