We really nailed our pick yesterday when we backed the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Mets in the second game of a double-header. Aaron Nola has been as good as any pitcher in the National League this year, yet he is continually valued very low. That was the case again here last night as I was able to back Nola and the Phillies on the run line at a very respectable price. In the end, Nola was unbelievably good yet again.
All told, Nola pitched seven innings and allowed no runs on just one hit and struck out ten along the way. For a guy that has been transcendent all season long, this was likely his best start of the season. The one part of this game that I didn’t see coming was the performance of Mets starter Corey Oswalt. Oswalt had been up and down between the majors and the minors all year long and had really struggled in both roles.
Oswalt pitched the game of his life as he pitched six innings and gave up just one hit. Sadly, for him, that one hit was to Aaron Nola, who hit a bases-loaded double that drove in three runs and was the story of the game. Aaron Nola had a career three RBI’s before that swing that drove in three runs yesterday. Nola has now won six straight starts, and at some point, he is going to have to start being valued as a Cy Young Award candidate, because right now, he is my odds-on favorite to take home the award this year in the National League. For today’s pick, I am going to take a look at the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.
The Arizona Diamondbacks head to Colorado Tuesday for game one of a three-game series with their National League West Divisional rivals, the Rockies. The DBacks are clinging to a half of a game lead for first place in the division, just barely ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies have slipped back to fourth place; however, they are just three and a half games back in what is a very competitive division.
Starting tonight for the Rockies is Tyler Anderson (6-3 3.90 ERA), and for the DBacks it is Patrick Corbin (6-3 3.05 ERA). This game is basically even money with the DBacks as very slight -107 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eleven runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 PM PST from Coors Field in Denver.
The Colorado Rockies have a problem this year. They suck at home. The Rockies eighteen home wins are the second fewest in the National League, ahead of only the New York Mets. And the Mets are sixteen games below .500 and are headed nowhere this season. The Miami Marlins have the worst record in the National League, yet they win more at home than the Colorado Rockies. This team just isn’t built to win in the rarified air of Coors Field and they really struggle when they are forced to go home.
Tonight’s starter for Colorado, Tyler Anderson has certainly felt the sting of that Coors Field elevation as his road ERA is a full run lower than his home ERA this year. On the road, Anderson is 4-0, at home, he is just 2-3. Those numbers were even more skewed before Anderson’s last start. On July 4th, Anderson pitched eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits against the San Francisco Giants. He will look to keep that hot streak going tonight against an inconsistent Arizona offense.
Patrick Corbin has been one of the best strikeout pitchers in the National League all year long. His 140 punchouts on the year are third in the NL, behind just Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer and his K9 is third as well, behind Jon Grey and Scherzer and ahead of guys like deGrom and Aaron Nola. Getting guys out by himself has never been an issue for Corbin. The issue has been his ability to stay consistent.
In his last three starts, Corbin has looked like an All-Star. He pitched a total of nineteen innings and gave up two earned runs with twenty-three strikeouts. The two starts before that? He pitched just eleven innings and gave up ten runs. In his one start this year against Colorado, Corbin was solid as he pitched five and two thirds and gave up just two runs while striking out eight in a DBacks win.
This is a tight game tonight. Both pitchers are hot at the moment, and that eleven-run game total certainly feels a bit high. The difference for me in this one is Corbin’s ability to strike guys out. That thin air only helps the ball carry far if you can hit it, and with the way that Corbin is pitching right now, there should be lots of swinging and missing.
And when you look at the home and away splits for each team, it also leads me to believe Arizona is the team to back in this one. The DBacks have the highest road winning percentage in the NL, while the Rockies, as mentioned above, can’t seem to ever win at home. So, I will take the DBacks in a tight one and figure between Corbin’s hot pitching and the Rockies terrible home record, the DBacks will find a way to win the game tonight. Give me the Arizona Diamondbacks at -107 in game one from Colorado!