The St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies meet at Coors Field for a three-game series. At first look earlier in the season, this had the makings of an important series for both clubs. Both figured to be in postseason contention and perhaps the Cardinals and Rockies would be battling it out for a wildcard in the National League. That isn’t the case at all in September.
The Rockies are out of the postseason, as they face a 17-game wall for the final wildcard. They’re second to last in the National League, as the Marlins are the only team who own a worse record. Nobody saw that coming after the Rockies went to the NLDS in 2018.
That was supposed to be a season to build on and improve even further. They got a deal done with Nolan Arenado in the offseason, but nothing else has been accomplished in 2019. Their pitching staff is lost as ever and there doesn’t seem to be much direction going into next season, either. It’s not easy putting a solid rotation together in Colorado.
Nobody wants to go and pitch in the air at Coors Field. The dish is a launching pad for long balls and there aren’t many guys who want to deal with it. That’s not to say there pitchers out there who haven’t had success in Denver. Ubaldo Jimenez had his best years as a Rockie. He didn’t do anything after leaving. In any event, the odds say that it’s not going to go as great at Coors Field.
The Cardinals season hasn’t played out as anticipated, either. It’s been better than expected, as they’re looking to put a bow on this season with a win in the NL Central. They hold a 4.5-game advantage on the Cubs for the divisional lead. Finish strong and it will be a mini upset in the NL Central. Michael Wacha will get the call against Chi Chi Gonzalez at Coors on Tuesday night in Denver. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Rockies pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies Pick:
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Chi Chi Gonzalez is coming off the best performance of his career. He pitched a gem of a game against the Dodgers, holding them to just 3 hits and 2 earned runs in 6.1 innings. Given the circumstance of it on the road against a 1st place Dodgers team, it has to go down as a career start for Gonzalez.
He was getting blasted until that outing. Despite the strong start, Gonzalez is still looking for his first win of the season. A record of 0-6 and 7.29 ERA is still awful and is he going to need more of those down the stretch to salvage this year.
Dodger Stadium was a better setting than home for Gonzalez. Coors Field has swallowed Gonzalez up for an ERA of 11.17 and 2.38 WHIP. In his most recent work at home, Gonzalez was throttled for 7 hits and 7 earned runs without getting out of the 1st inning. He notched 2 outs before getting pulled out of the game, which resulted in a 11-8 loss against the Pirates.
Gonzalez faced the Cardinals a couple of weeks ago at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals were able to get to him for 5 earned runs in 4.1 innings. His control was all over the place, as he yielded 6 walks in a 6-0 loss. Conversely, Wacha cruised to a 11-4 win against the Rockies, having allowed 3 runs on the bump. He has been solid against the Rockies in his career, as their roster is hitting .250 in 88 at-bats.
Wacha has gone five straight outings with 3 or less runs allowed. In four out of those five games, Wacha allowed 2 or fewer runs. He will be going into Tuesday with a 3.29 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his previous three outings. Wacha is pitching well at the perfect time for the Cards and I think he at least holds up enough to give the offense a chance to throttle Chi Chi. The Cards look good for a play in this spot.