When talking about great pitching talent in the National League, it's tough for Rockies pitchers to get mentioned, by virtue of pitching roughly half their games in the hitters' haven that is Coors Field. This season, there is one man in particular who definitely deserves a long look, and it's left hander Kyle Freeland

Freeland, 25, will take the ball Sunday in Arizona and then Friday against the Nationals with the Rockies fighting for their playoff lives. If they do make the Wild Card Game, he's the likely starter, and there shouldn't even be a question. He's been exceptional this season. 

Generally with Rockies pitchers, we need to avoid looking at the raw numbers and instead focus on ballpark-adjusted numbers, but Freeland's ERA is 2.95 right now, trailing only the top trio of Cy Young candidates and Braves ace Mike Foltynewicz

Ah, yes, the Cy Young. The top three finishers are going to be (my guess is in this order) Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola. Freeland should absolutely be next -- voters pick a top five -- on the list. 

Freeland sits at 189 1/3 innings pitched, meaning there's a good chance he'll get to 200 innings. No Rockies starter has gone over that threshold since 2010. 

We already discussed ERA, so here's where Freeland sits in some other categories that help account for Coors Field. 

WAR (Baseball-Reference)

  1. Nola, 9.6
  2. deGrom, 8.6
  3. Scherzer, 8.4
  4. Freeland, 7.6
  5. Patrick Corbin, 4.7

Look at that gap. He's closer to the big names than anyone else is to him. 

Adjusted ERA+

  1. deGrom, 207
  2. Nolan, 171
  3. Scherzer, 165
  4. Freeland, 159
  5. Corbin, 140

Holy deGrom, by the way. 

Freeland is also sixth in innings pitched, fifth in wins and seventh in home run rate (0.808 HR/9). 

In judging from the response we get in discussing the effects Coors Field has on hitters, it's a sore spot for Rockies fans. I'm here to tell them that they need to realize it goes both ways and it makes their pitchers underrated. Take a look: 

MLB average line: .248/.318/.410
Coors Field line: .275/.339/.469

That's drastic. It matters. It would be lazy to ignore it when we're judging, say, Nolan Arenado's raw numbers. As noted, though, it goes both ways. 

And yet, Freeland at home this season has been an utter monster. He's 9-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 87 2/3 home innings. For perspective, the league ERA in Coors Field this season is 4.95, or more than double what Freeland is posting. You saw the league slash line in Coors Field above -- well, Freeland is allowing opposing hitters just a .214/.289/.384 line. It's just remarkable. 

Freeland has been excellent. He's not on level with Scherzer or Nola, and no one is on level with deGrom, but Freeland looks like the fourth-best pitcher in the NL in a season with three ultra-elite performances. Let's give Freeland some more credit.