Through the first full week of the shortened MLB season, the top two teams in the NL West are surprisingly not the LA Dodgers. Instead, the Rockies and Padres have ridden hot starts into an NL West showdown in Denver. Saturday will be game two of the three game series.
Last season, Colorado won the season series 11-8, winning seven of 10 games at Coors Field. Additionally, the scores in Colorado were notoriously high scoring, averaging over 16 runs per game combined.
The Future Is Now in San DiegoThe core of the San Diego Padres have now ascended to the major leagues, and the Padres are looking to ride that core into postseason play. Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham have combined to lead a dramatic turnaround in OBP. The Padres are getting on base via the walk and hit, and are moving runners along while relying on clutch base hits. And those have come in bunches. The Padres have hit .263 with one home run against Freeland lifetime.
Joey Lucchesi lasted only 3.2 innings in his first start. The Padres hope to stretch him out a little more in his second start, but the offensive bias at Colorado might make that a little tougher. Last season, Lucchesi fared well in Colorado, giving up only two runs over 11 innings in two starts.
Rockies Hope Success Carries Over In Home Opening SeriesNo doubt about it, this is a big series for the Rockies. Colorado looks to build on a fast start, and a series win would put the Rockies in first place in a very good NL West division with around 50 games to play. The Rockies' powerful offense carries a combined lifetime .281 average with seven home runs against Padre starter Joey Lucchesi, with David Dahl (.500, 1 HR) and Nolan Arrenado (.368, 2 HR) leading the way.
Kyle Freeland gets the nod in this one, coming off a six-inning, five strikeout win against Texas. Freeland faced San Diego one time last season, surrendering three runs while striking out three in a loss.
- Colorado - 4-0 in last four Saturday games
- Colorado - 4-0 in last four games as underdog
- San Diego - 1-6 in last seven second games of a series
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Colorado has relied on their rotation to lead the way to four of five wins on the road to start the season. The offense has started slow, but looks to get a boost in hitter friendly Colorado. San Diego is hitting just .192 against lefties, while Colorado hits .222 (their season average) against lefties. Last season, Colorado also owned the Padres in Coors Field, winning seven of ten games there. In the three losses, two were by one run while the other went to extra innings. Colorado has a good chance to win, and a better chance to cover.
Prediction: Colorado (+105)
Full-Game Total Pick
Last season, the Rockies and Padres combined to score 92 runs over four games, an MLB record. While that was last season, the Padres lineup has improved considerably, getting on base at a very high rate this season. The question is whether the Rockies starters low ERA is an aberration or a trend. History suggests the first, as Colorado’s pitching suffers in hitter-friendly Coors Field. This is the first home series for Colorado, so it remains to be seen. The over seems reasonable given the current MLB trends.
Prediction: Over 12.5