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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado both face an uphill battle to get back into the playoff picture in the wildcard positioning. Both ballclubs are working their way through tough stretches looking to get back on track. This will start with a three-game set at Chase Field on Monday night.
Rockies’ woes anchored by pitching struggles
The last few weeks have been quite difficult for the Rockies that has seen them fall out of the playoff picture almost entirely. It has been a steady progression out of the mix with them struggling to find any type of consistency on the field. Much of which has laid with their persistent issues on the mound currently holding one of the league’s worst pitching staffs. The Rockies possess one of the least effective groups of arms in the majors that has been a large reason for their shortcomings this year. Colorado ranks 29th in ERA, last in opposing batting average, 29th in opposing slugging percentage, sixth in most home runs allowed, first in most hits given up, and sixth in most doubles allowed. Simply put, the Rockies have had zero stability from their pitching staff that has made it difficult for them to get any real traction this season and have put a bit of a damper on their offensive production.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 18, 2019
The Rockies are set to send left-hander Kyle Freeland to the mound as he has been the epitome of their issues on the mound currently holding a 3-10 record with an astronomical 7.09 ERA, 24 home runs allowed, 1.61 WHIP, and a .299 opposing batting average in his first 19 starts. Freeland has been a major liability throughout the season that has seen him allow five or more runs in six out of his last 10 outings. He’s coming off giving up five runs on eight hits, including two home runs in 6.0 innings pitched against the Diamondbacks last week. With Arizona already teeing off on him, it’s going to take Colorado’s bats to carry them to a series-opening win. This may likely need star third baseman Nolan Arenado to lead the charge with his bat as he’s putting forth another strong campaign batting .301 with 28 home runs and 91 RBI. Arenado has had a productive month of August batting .271 with six home runs and 10 RBI. Ultimately, the only way the Rockies put out a win on Monday will come through their offense.
The Diamondbacks have shared a similar path to the Rockies over the last couple of weeks, having fallen into a bit of rut in the playoff picture. Arizona is currently seated 4.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wildcard spot heading into Monday’s contest. They have struggled to find their way over the last 10 games, dropping six contests over that span that have prevented them from truly getting into the mix for playoff contention. Much of which has come in the way of their pitching over the last four games since facing the Rockies by allowing at least seven runs in the last four straight contests. Their pitching staff hadn’t entirely been an issue, but the with the decision to move Zack Greinke at the trade deadline last month and then Robbie Ray, currently sidelined with a nagging injury, has put their starting pitching in a tough spot. At the same time, the team hasn’t been entirely in a rut as the front office was able to acquire help with the addition of rookie right-hander Zac Gallen from the Miami Marlins.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 18, 2019
Gallen has had his ups and downs in his first major-league campaign, but he has shown reason for promise holding a 2-3 record with a 2.58 ERA in his first nine career starts. In his first two outings with the Diamondbacks, Gallen holds a 1-0 record with a 2.00 ERA while giving up 10 hits and walking four batters in just nine innings pitched. He will have a bit of a challenge ahead of him against the Rockies, who his last start was against as he went just 4.0 innings where he gave up two runs on nine hits. However, Arizona was able to win that game despite a brief outing from Gallen. This should see the Diamondbacks once again operate in the manner of putting their young pitcher on a pitch count while putting more pressure on their offense to carry them forward against the Rockies’ porous pitching staff. This could very well see rising star second baseman Ketel Marte lead the charge. He is in the midst of a breakout 2019 campaign that has earned him his first All-Star selection as he’s currently batting .320 with 24 home runs, 70 RBI, 81 runs scored, and a .947 OPS that has him pace to notch 32 home runs and 93 RBI. Ultimately, the difference in this contest will be the Diamondbacks offense leading the way on Monday night.
- Rockies are 3-7 in their last 10 contests after scoring five runs or more in their previous game.
- Rockies are 12-28 in their last 40 games overall.
- Rockies are 12-28 in their last 40 games on grass.
- Diamondbacks are 0-4 in their last four games against a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
- Diamondbacks are 0-4 in their last four games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Diamondbacks have been moving through a bit of a rough patch, but they are set to face arguably the worst pitching staff in the majors. This should pave the way to them putting forth a strong outing at home pushing their way toward a comfortable and much-needed win. The Rockies may have plenty of offensive firepower, but it has been their pitching that has been their Achilles heel, and that will continue to be the case on Monday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
Given that the Rockies have struggled on the mound, this should lend well to it being a higher-scoring affair. It should be noted that the Diamondbacks have notched at least six runs in each of the last three meetings, while the Rockies topped that mark twice over that span. All of this simply sets up for it being another game dictated by their bats respectively.