Free Pick: (912) COLORADO ROCKIES -145
An underdog winner on Friday took our free pick streak to 7-1.
No number on this game as I’m writing this, but I’m expecting the Rockies to be what ought to be a reasonably priced favorite tonight. I think they’ve got enough edges to warrant consideration.
Justin Lyles will be starting for the home team. There’s some debate as to exactly what Lyles is throwing, but the main thing is that his best offering sinks when it’s working. That’s the story for Lyles. If he keeps the ball down and gets ground balls, he’s a serviceable big league starter. If he gets up ion the zone, he’s prone to being taken deep, and that can be a major problem in this ballpark. Lyles was not good at all in his first start off the DL, but was much better in terms of generating those grounders last outing. Lyles should match up well with a Reds entry that doesn’t have much power these days.
The flip side here is Dylan Axelrod, who has never shown the ability to get major league batters out on a regular basis. He has surrendered a career BA in excess of .300 in his intermittent big league appearances. That by itself doesn’t bode well for Axlerod pitching at Coors Field. Making matters worse is that he has never pitched in this park. That’s where the long term trend I alluded to comes into play. First-time Coors starting pitchers are a notoriously risky proposition. When it’s a Quad-A type like Axelrod, I have to believe it gets even worse.
As for other elements, the Rockies bullpen is horrendous, so there’s always some element of risk involved in asking them to hold a late lead if they have one. But that’s offset by what looks to me like a nice edge for Colorado with the sticks. Pitchers are simply not fearing this Cincy lineup right now, and we’re seeing an aggressive mindset by opposing hurlers on a virtually nightly basis.
Jorge De La Rosa, who basically never loses at home, was only about a 6/5 favorite on Thursday night. So while Lyles is going to be the favorite tonight, I can’t see this line being unplayable. Axelrod won’t get much respect from the oddsmakers, so I’m assuming a bit more chalk than on Thursday, but as long as this is reasonable, say -130 or better, the Rockies are certainly worthy of consideration tonight.
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