We have a fresh week of MLB baseball ahead of us and it’s a good time to wipe the slate clean considering my 1-3 start to the season. The Cardinals dealt me my third loss of the season on Thursday night when Carlos Martinez was touched up for five runs on seven hits and two walks in just five innings of work while Zach Davies escaped with the win for the Brewers despite throwing 5.1 innings of four-run ball on eight hits and two walks. I built this pick on the thought Martinez would outpitch Davies, and he didn’t, but it’s certainly disappointing to see the Cardinals offense wake up and still take a loss. Nonetheless, a fresh week brings fresh opportunities so let’s go into Monday night’s free MLB pick!
Season Record: 1-3 Units: -1.84 units
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies
MY PICK: ROCKIES (-135) *Risking 1.35 units to win 1 unit*
The Washington Nationals will travel to Coors Field tonight to take on the hometown Colorado Rockies for the first game of a four-game set. The Nationals are coming off a sweep of the slumping Mets while the Rockies disposed of the Giants over the weekend and earned themselves a sweep as well. With both teams coming in hot I will look at the pitching matchup on tap tonight as Jacob Turner will make his first start as a National in place of the soon-to-be father of two Stephen Strasburg opposite southpaw Tyler Anderson of the Rockies.
With Turner we have a former top prospect who has never been able to put it together at the big league level. Turner has never posted an ERA under 5.65 in any big league season and most recently pitched to a 6.57 ERA and 6.51 FIP across 24.2 innings with the White Sox last season. Turner surrendered five home runs, 16 walks and 33 hits for a 1.99 WHIP in those innings which is a dangerous background for an outing at easily the league’s hitter-friendliest venue. The Rockies are coming off of that aforementioned three-game sweep over the Giants in which they scored 26 runs, or 8.67 per game. While this weekend was certainly an outrageous offensive explosion, this is a Rockies team that was expected to produce plenty of offense this season, however a slow start (mostly on the road) had some second guessing a team that scored the most runs in the National League a season ago. While some might put most of that offense onto the Coors Field effect platform, that okay too considering this is where they will play tonight against a very subpar starting pitcher.
Looking at Rockies’ lefty Tyler Anderson, we see that there is a distinct possibility that he can neutralize some of the Nationals’ best bats considering they come from the left side of the plate in players like Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton. Despite playing his home games at Coors, Anderson has held lefties to a .687 OPS in his young career and has surrendered just 0.55 HR/9 to left-handed bats. Interestingly, that home run number drops to 0.46 at home while he has pitched to a 3.74 FIP at Coors against lefties as well. Washington scored the fourth-most runs in the NL last season, but they ranked seventh against left-handed pitching in that department.
While both teams are capable of offense, I am liking the Rockies here based on Anderson’s ability to mitigate left-handed hitting against a team that will likely roll out three lefties in their first five hitters while the Rockies carry a white-hot offense into play against a well below average pitcher. Take the Rockies and get your week started off on the right note!