The 1st place Colorado Rockies will look to stay hot today as they welcome the Chicago Cubs to town for game 4 of a 4-game series. Not many people expected Colorado to contend in the NL West Division, and while it is still too early to tell if this hot start can be trusted, the Rockies are playing well, and they have a chance to pick up their 3rd series win of the season already, with series wins over the Dodgers and Rangers already this year.
Two wins in a row feels ????? pic.twitter.com/JCQydXS3hC
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 17, 2022
For Chicago, the Cubs started out the season playing well, with wins in 3 of their first 4 games of the year, but they have come back to earth since, with a 1-3 record in their last 4 games. Chicago hit the reset button in a major way last year at the trade deadline when they shipped off All-Star players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez, but they did add some talent back in the offseason, so this shouldn’t be a completely wasted season on the North Side of Chicago this year, as the Cubs try to retool for another run at a World Series Championship after winning it all in 2016.
The Rockies are (-125) home field favorites today in this series finale. The game total is 11 runs with the starting pitching matchup between Chicago’s Drew Smyly and Colorado’s Austin Gomber. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM PST from Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.
Chicago Cubs (4-4)
Normally when a team dumps as much talent as Chicago did last year, they don’t even attempt to field a respectable team the following season. In modern Big League Baseball, you are either contending for a World Series title or you are losing 100 games as you try to rebuild, and any team stuck in the middle is just spinning their wheels. This year, it is looking like the Cubs are going to fall into that middle group, as they aren’t going to completely bottom out, but they aren’t going to sweat the postseason either.
I guess when you play in a market that is as passionate as the Cubs fans have been over the years you owe it to that fanbase to have at least an MLB caliber roster on the field, even if you are rebuilding, but from a high level, I would think that the Cubs desire to not be a complete disaster this season is only going to slow down this rebuilding process. The guy that I have my eye on right now for Chicago as they look to rebuild, is Japanese superstar Seiya Suzuki.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 17, 2022
Suzuki was a prized international free agent this year, and the Cubs were about the last team that most people expected him to sign with given their current rebuild status. But that didn’t stop Chicago from going out and getting the 27-year-old, and after watching Shohei Ohtani take over Major League Baseball in the last couple of years, Suzuki seems to be the next in line when it comes to Japanese imports that have a lot of success stateside.
In 8 career games, Suzuki is smashing the baseball to the tune of a .409 batting average, with 3 homers, 10 RBI, and a sizzling hot 1.44 OPS. If those power numbers surprise you, it’s because you haven’t done your homework on this guy, as his power numbers in Japan were actually quite a bit better than Ohtani’s, and he hits the show as a player expected to hit 30+ home runs this season. Suzuki is young enough that he should still be around when this rebuild is done in Chicago, and in the meantime, he gives Cub’s fans a superstar in the making to root for as the rest of the roster builds around him.
Drew Smyly has had a bit of a strange career. He has seemingly always been a solid pitcher, good for about 1 win above replacement per season, which for a starter at the backend of a rotation, is more than serviceable. But despite his respectable production over the years, nobody seems to want to keep him, as he has played for 7 teams in his 9-year career. Smyly is used to moving around a lot and joins the Cubs this year as a stopgap to eat up innings while the Cubs get from where they are at, to where they are hoping to go in the future.
Smyly looked great in his debut with the Cubs, working 5 very efficient innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In that game, he didn’t allow a single run, while giving up only 3 hits, and walking none. That was certainly an encouraging stat line for the 33-year-old old veteran lefty, but don’t expect more of the same today at Coors Field, as Smyly tends to get a lot of flyball outs, which is playing with fire in that thin air of the Rocky Mountains.
Today’s Starting Pitching Matchup
Colorado Rockies (6-2)
The NL West is a savage division, as teams like the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants are all expected to be very good this season, which makes the fact that the Rockies are tied for 1st place right now, that much more impressive. And while I am sure that won’t be the case for very long, as this team has a decent roster, not a division title caliber roster, they have played remarkably well at home in the last year or so, so to see Colorado with a strong record at Coors Field shouldn’t be surprising anybody.
Last year, the Rockies finished with the 3rd best home field record in the National League, trailing only the Giants and Dodgers, as this roster has clearly been built to adapt to Coors Field, which is the most unique ballpark in the majors. If you are going to win at elevation, you want hitters that can put the ball in the stands and pitchers that can keep the ball on the ground.
To the CRONcourse (AGAIN)?
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 17, 2022
The Rockies bats have held up their end of that bargain so far this season, as they are 3rd in all of baseball in OPS and their team batting average of .282 is tops in the game. After a slow start at the dish to start the season, the Rockies have scored an average of over 6 runs per game in their last 4 home games, and not surprisingly, they have won 3 of those 4 games with the strong run production.
We just talked about the bats doing their part to help the Rockies off to this hot start, and interestingly enough, the arms have been strong as well, as they are 5th in the NL in team ERA, which is remarkably good when you consider that 6 of their 8 games have come at home. Colorado will try and get another nice game out of their pitching staff today as they send Austin Gomber to the mound for his 2nd start of the season.
Austin Gomber fits that Coors Field profile to a T, as he does his best to keep the ball on the ground to avoid those balls that would be lazy fly balls in most stadiums, but end up in the stands in Denver. Last year, Gomber was outstanding at home, with an almost unbelievably good 2.09 ERA in 9 starts. Opposing batters hit just .189 against Gomber at home last season, and Rockies fans are hoping that he can get back on track today after a rough first outing of the season last week.
That poor outing came on the road against the Texas Rangers, and in reality, it wasn’t all that bad. Through 4 innings, Gomber had allowed just a single earned run on only 2 hits. But the 5th inning is where he got into trouble, as gave up multiple 2-out hits, and a pair of runs chased him out of the game early. To see Gomber struggle on the road is nothing new, as his road ERA was more than 4 runs higher than his home ERA last season, and the Rockies are hoping it is home sweet home today for Austin Gomber as he will make his 2022 Coors Field debut today.
Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies Betting Odds And Team Statistics
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Teams||Money line||Total||Run Line|
|Chicago Cubs||(+115)||Over 11 (-110)||+1.5 (-160)|
|Colorado Rockies||(-125)||Under 11 (-110)||-1.5 (+140)|
|Team Data||Chicago Cubs||Colorado Rockies|
|Runs Per Game||5.25||4.75|
|Runs Against Per Game||3.45||4.30|
|Hits Per Game||9.00||9.75|
|K’s Per Game||7.63||8.13|
Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies Prediction:
I got rich last season betting on the Colorado Rockies at home. No team in the majors made us more money than the Rockies at Coors Field did, as they were regularly home underdogs, despite their elite winning percentage. Going back to the start of the 2021 season, the Rockies have a winning percentage of .598 at home, which is 3rd best in the National League, and 7th best in MLB, with all 6 teams ahead of them being perennial World Series contenders. To put it bluntly, if the Rockies got to play all of their games in Denver, they would be amongst the elite of the elite in the NL.
Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies Betting Trends:
- Chi Cubs are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chi Cubs’ last 6 games on the road
- Chi Cubs are 3-6 SU in their last 9 games when playing on the road against Colorado
- Chi Cubs are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games against an opponent in the National League
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chi Cubs’ last 5 games against an opponent in the National League West Division
- Colorado is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Colorado’s last 6 games against Chi Cubs
- Colorado is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games at home
- Colorado is 6-3 SU in their last 9 games when playing at home against Chi Cubs
- The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Colorado’s last 20 games played on a Sunday
Despite the fact that the Rockies rarely lose at home, the public continues to bet against them. In their 6 home games this season, they have been underdogs in half of them, and they have a winning record in those games at 2-1. They won’t be home dogs in this game though, but it won’t be from lack of trying from the betting public! This line opened up with the Rockies laying (-160) and everybody and their mother has been hammering on the road team Cubs, shifting the line sharply towards Chicago.
If you are a regular reader of my MLB picks, you will know that fading the public is my favorite thing to do when betting on Major League Baseball. The public has an uncanny ability to always get things wrong, and when a line moves like this, more often than not, you are going to see me jump on the other side.
A new dawn. A new day. ? pic.twitter.com/TKzcAc5qvD
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 8, 2022
Austin Gomber is great at Coors Field, and I expect him to again be strong today as the Rockies stay hot and win their 3rd series in a row to start the season. I am a long way away from being a believer in this Rockies team, but we have gotten rich backing them at home in the last year, and I am not ready to jump off that bandwagon just yet.
Only the Brewers and Pirates have fewer home runs on the year in the NL than the Cubs do, and in what could end up being a game where they need to score 6 or more runs to win, I don’t think they are going to have the firepower to get the job done. Give me the home team in this one, as Drew Smyly gets roughed up early and Austin Gomber reminds the public that he is light’s out at Coors Field and the Rockies win this game going away as small favorites.