He may also end up being the first Triple Crown winner in 43 years as a result.
Gonzalez looks to extend his career-high hitting streak when the rolling Rockies host the Reds Wednesday night at Coors Field.
Cincinnati (79-59) has a six-game lead on second-place St. Louis in the NL Central despite losing three in a row, including the first two games of this series.
Colorado (74-64) isn’t afforded the same luxury. The Rockies are third in the West, 3 1/2 games behind second-place San Francisco, which is one game back of San Diego.
Colorado trails Atlanta by 4 1/2 games for the wild card.
Gonzalez is a major reason why the Rockies have an opportunity to reach the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
The left fielder is batting .525 with seven homers and 21 RBIs during a career-best 15-game hitting streak, helping Colorado go 11-4 during that stretch. He connected for a three-run homer in Colorado’s 4-3 win over the Reds on Tuesday night.
Gonzalez’s career year could result in him becoming the majors’ first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski with Boston in 1967. St. Louis’ Joe Medwick was the last to do it in the NL in 1937.
Gonzalez leads the league in hitting (.340) and RBIs (100) and is tied with Arizona’s Mark Reynolds(notes) and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto(notes) for third in homers (32). Albert Pujols(notes) leads the NL with 35 home runs.
“What we’re watching and witnessing right now offensively, obviously for a kid in the early stage of his career that he’s in, it’s something special. There’s no question about it,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Votto is also bidding for the Triple Crown with a .321 average and 98 RBIs. The first baseman is 2 for 6 in this series.
Arroyo (14-9, 3.84 ERA) gets a third chance to match his career high in wins for a third consecutive season.
The right-hander has lost consecutive starts with a 4.15 ERA, and struggled early in his most recent outing Friday. He allowed three runs in the first two innings before throwing four scoreless frames in a 3-2 loss at St. Louis.
Despite that loss, Arroyo has won six of eight road starts behind a 2.04 ERA, completing seven innings in six of those outings.
He pitched well in his most recent start at Colorado, allowing two runs over seven innings before leaving without a decision in a 4-3 loss Sept. 9 of last year.
Arroyo is 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA in his last five starts overall against the Rockies.
The right-hander gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 win at San Diego on Friday, hours after being activated from the DL. He had lost his previous three starts while compiling a 13.97 ERA.
Cook is 3-0 with a 3.29 ERA in seven starts versus the Reds. He was superb in his latest outing against them July 18, scattering six hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win at Cincinnati.
Cook, though, hasn’t fared well against Votto, who is 5 for 12 with a homer off him.