What a great day for baseball! We have fifteen games on the schedule today, and with all of the divisional races heating up in this 60-game sprint of a season, every game matters! In the American League, every single team is currently within three and a half games of making the postseason. In the National League, every team with the exception of the dreadfully bad Pittsburgh Pirates, are within four games of making the playoffs.
We have several marquee matchups on the slate for today as the Indians host the Cubs, the Braves are in the Bronx to play the Yankees, and the Padres are in LA to play the Dodgers. For our daily betting pick, we will check in on one of the most surprising teams in the National League, the Colorado Rockies, as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in game three of what has been an explosive series between NL West Division rivals.
Arizona Diamondbacks (7-11) at Colorado Rockies (12-5)
The Colorado Rockies are looking to add on to their National League leading twelve wins today, in game three of a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This has been a high scoring series thus far, as the two teams have combined for 35 runs in the first two games. Colorado is out to a hot start, and they are looking for their sixth consecutive series win today.
For Arizona, the DBacks have come out of the gates slow to start the season, as their 7-11 record is second-worst in the National League, better than only the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they find themselves in dead last place in the crowded National League West Division. Arizona trails the Rockies by five and a half games in the division.
Starting today for the DBacks is Luke Weaver (0-3 12.19 ERA), and for the Rockies, it is Antonio Senzatela (3-0 2.65 ERA). The game total over/under is set at twelve runs. The game is an even pick ’em, as both teams are laying -105. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM PST from Coors Field in Denver.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a very concerning trend to start out the 2020 season, they can’t beat NL West teams. The DBacks have played thirteen games against the Padres, Dodgers, and Rockies this season, and they have a 4-9 record to show for it. In those games, they have a run differential of -28. That is really bad. They aren’t just losing to their division rivals, they are getting blown out by them.
Against the AL West, the division that makes up the rest of their schedule, they are a respectable 3-2 with a run differential of +2. The problem for Arizona, is that the majority of their schedule is made up of NL West teams, and when you look forward on the schedule, they play NL West teams in the four out of their next five series, and the one series mixed in there that isn’t against a division rival, is against the Oakland Athletics, a team that currently has the most wins in the Major Leagues. Tough times seem to be on the horizon for Arizona, and they need to find a way to be more competitive in the division if they want any shot at the postseason.
Luke Weaver (0-3 12.19 ERA)
When you look at the DBacks struggles against the division, it has been mostly the starting rotations fault. Madison Bumgarner has allowed nine earned runs in two starts, Robbie Ray has gotten blasted for fourteen runs in his three outings against the NL West, and today’s starter Luke Weaver, has gotten pummeled for fourteen earned runs in three starts, spanning just 10.1 innings worked.
It is hard to win games when your starter gets smashed every time out, and that has been the case for Luke Weaver this season. The DBacks record in games where Weaver starts is 0-3 with a combined score of 20-4, good for a -16 run differential. He has constantly been forced to work out of jams as his WHIP is a sky-high 2.12, and he has allowed sixteen hits, five of which have left the ballpark, and has walked six batters.
This Rockies team is playing on another level right now. They are hammering the baseball, and the pitching staff has been shockingly good, despite having to play their home games in the rarified air of Coors Field. The Rockies lead the majors in batting average and are second in runs scored. The guy that is powering the offense right now, is Charlie Blackmon, who is having a season for the ages.
Coming into this season, many in the media questioned if we would see player hit .400. With just 60 games to be played, we knew that guys could get hot and that seeing stats that we haven’t seen before, could happen. But nobody expected to see what Charlie Blackmon is doing right now.
Charlie Blackmon is hitting a league-leading .484 for the @Rockies and is on a 14-game hit streak.
Using super advanced technology, we have developed this image that shows what the baseball looks like to Blackmon. pic.twitter.com/IuPEhdrk8F
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 11, 2020
Blackmon is smashing the baseball to the tune of a .500 batting average! No, that’s not a typo, this guy has 34 hits in 68 at-bats this season. He leads the Major Leagues in batting average, RBI, WAR, hits, and runs scored. Blackmon has had multiple hits in his last six games, and since starting the season out 1-12 in the Rockies first three games, is hitting .589 in his last fourteen games. I would say those are video game numbers, but even in the virtual world, players don’t hit like this.
You would have to assume that Blackmon will come back to Earth at some point, but this guy does have a lifetime batting of .307 in a decade long career, so he absolute can hit the baseball, and we all know how a small sample size of games, particularly when half of those games come at Coors Field, can produce some wonky stats.
Antonio Senzatela (3-0 2.65 ERA)
Most of the acclaim has been on the Rockies potent offense this season, and deservedly so, as they are crushing the baseball, but starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela deserves some love as well. Senzatela has not been great in his three seasons with Colorado as his career ERA with the Rockies has been north of five runs, and last year he posted his worse stats yet, as he finished the season with a 6.71 ERA in 25 starts.
That makes what he is doing so far this season, all that more impressive, as he has been light’s out in three starts. He is 3-0 with a 2.65 ERA and has managed to shut down a couple of the best offenses in the game when he allowed just two runs on the road against the Oakland A’s and shut down the San Diego Padres, at Coors Field no less, to the tune of six innings worked and one earned run on only four hits.
Who Do I Like?
What am I missing here? The Rockies can’t lose, the DBacks can’t win, yet this game is even money? Huh? Luke Weaver has gotten blown out in each of his three starts. Antonio Senzatela has led the Rockies to wins in each of his three starts with a +12 run differential. I just don’t see any compelling reason why the Rockies don’t win this game, and they just might blow them out.
The only thing that scares me about backing the Rockies, is their bullpen. Closer Wade Davis was shut down for the season after being awful in limited action, and the Rockies are currently working without a ninth-inning guy. We have seen that bite them in this series as they have allowed six ninth inning runs to Arizona in the last two games.
Colorado brought in Daniel Bard, yes, that Daniel Bard, in the ninth last night to slam the door, and I expect the Rockies to look to him more moving forward, as he is back to throwing flames and has a K/9 ratio of 11 and an ERA of 3.00. Although in this game, I am not sure that they are going to need a closer, as this one might not be all that competitive. Give me the Colorado Rockies at home in what should be another high-scoring and exciting game!