Lucas Giolito made history last night when he threw a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. With 13 Ks, Giolito broke the White Sox franchise record for most strikeouts in a no-hitter and takes his place in history with the 19th no-no in White Sox history. The last no-hitter for Chicago came back in 2012 when Philip Humber no-hit the Seattle Mariners.
If you thought that things couldn’t get worse for the Pirates, you were wrong. Pittsburg is on pace for one of the lowest regular season winning percentages in modern-day MLB history, and getting no-hit yesterday was just another gut punch in a season that has been full of them. For Chicago, the White Sox have now won eight out of their last nine games and are one of the hottest teams in the American League.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 26, 2020
The Major League Baseball schedule is jam-packed with action today as we have sixteen games on the slate, including a high-profile doubleheader between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves in what could very well end up being a World Series preview.
Other marquee games on the schedule today include games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the streaking San Francisco Giants, the Indians and the Twins in an AL Central battle with first place on the line, and Pirates and the White Sox, where the Pirates will try to stop the bleeding and at least pick up one hit tonight on the South Siders. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will head out west, where the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado Rockies (15-15) at Arizona Diamondbacks (13-18)
The Colorado Rockies are looking to make it three straight wins tonight over their rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, in game three of a four-game series between National League West foes. The Rockies have managed to take games one and two, both by just one run, and have gotten back to .500 on the year with the back to back victories.
For Arizona, the DBacks are really struggling right now as they have lost seven consecutive games and are quickly falling out of contention in the NL West Division. Arizona has seen a power outage in the last week as they have managed just eight total runs during this seven-game skid.
Starting tonight for the DBacks is Robbie Ray (1-3 8.33 ERA), and for the Rockies, it is Jon Gray (1-3 6.23 ERA). The game total over/under is set at nine and a half runs. The DBacks are -135 home field favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST from Chase Field in Arizona.
After the first two weeks of the season, it looked like the Colorado Rockies were going to be the surprise team of the National League as they jumped out to a hot start, and actually had the best record in the league for a minute. But after that quick start, the Rockies came crashing down to earth, losing twelve out of fourteen games. They have rebounded this week, though, with two wins over the DBacks, and after all of the ups and downs, are right back where they started the year, at .500.
There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the season that Charlie Blackmon is having for Colorado, and that is certainly understandable as we are now halfway through the season, and the guy is hitting .395. But with Blackmon stealing all of the headlines, people seem to be ignoring the MVP caliber season that Trevor Story is putting together.
Story is hitting .303 and leads the team in homers with 9, runs scored with 28, and stolen bases with 7. Story is heating up even more right now, as he is riding a six-game hit streak that has seen him rack up 8 hits, including 5 for extra bases. Against Arizona this year, Story is hitting a sizzling .429 with an absurd OPS of 1.425.
Jon Gray (1-3 6.23 ERA)
When you have to pitch a lot of your games at Coors Field in Colorado, your stats can get really ugly, really fast. In four home field starts this year, Gray is 1-2 with an ERA of 6.55. And while he hasn’t been exactly stellar on the road either, he has fared significantly better on the road than at home, as his ERA is more than a full run lower when he doesn’t have to pitch in the rarefied air of Denver.
Gray has one start this year against Arizona, and he got hammered. On August 10th, Gray pitched just three and a third innings against the DBacks and gave up a whopping eight earned runs on eleven hits. It wasn’t pretty, to say the least. That win for Arizona kickstarted a stretch that saw them win seven out of eight games, and the DBacks are hoping for a repeat performance against Gray tonight at home.
What has happened to these Arizona bats lately? The DBacks were swinging one of the heaviest bats in the NL in early August before seeing their production at the plate just turn off in the last week. Between August 5th and August 18th, Arizona scored 90 runs in 13 games for an average of nearly seven runs a game. Three times they scored double-digit runs, and they were 10-3 in that two week stretch and were able to get themselves into the playoff conversation in the National League.
But during this recent seven-game losing streak, runs have been hard to come by, and they are losing night in and night out. If Arizona wants any realistic shot at making the postseason, they must find a way to win at least one game during this four-game series with the Rockies, and they have their best chance of doing just that tonight, with Robbie Ray on the mound.
Robbie Ray (1-3 8.33 ERA)
Can someone please remind Robbie Ray where the strike zone is at? Ray has completely lost control of his pitches this year, as he has already walked 25 batters in just 27 innings. He has walked multiple hitters in every start, and in three of his six starts, he has walked five or more guys. Not shockingly, the walks are leading to a lot of runs going up on the board, and Ray’s ERA of 8.33 is one of the highest amongst all qualified starters in the National League.
Against the Rockies earlier this year, Ray gave up six runs in only 3.2 innings worked on seven hits and three walks. One thing that has worked in Ray’s favor this year has been run support, as the DBacks have scored him an average of over eight runs a game in his four August starts.
Who Do I Like?
I think both of these teams break out the bats tonight and that this is a high scoring game. I am quite surprised to see this game total in single digits, as both of these starting pitchers have been awful this year. Yeah, the Arizona bats have gone cold this week, but they still scored 32 runs in their previous three-game series with the Rockies, so we know they can hit the baseball against Colorado.
In a game where they are likely to be a lot of runs going up on the board, neither team should be a major favorite. Any game that sees both team score a bunch of runs like I expect tonight in this one, is a coin flip in my book. And you all know what I love to do in a spot that I see as a coin flip, you got it, I take the dog!
I see Robbie Ray handing out a bunch more free passes and think the Rockies hammer him tonight. This guy just can’t be trusted at all right now, and I would be shocked to see him have much success tonight against Colorado. I can’t imagine Jon Gray will be much better, though, so I see this turning into a slugfest and easily coasting to the over early in the game.
And in a game that should be highly unpredictable, I am going to just lean on the juice to bring me value. I am going to give you the rare double-dip in this game and take the Rockies as underdogs and the over nine and a half runs. Ray gets rocked, the DBacks score a couple on Gray, and we cash both bets! Give me the Colorado Rockies at +125 and the over 9.5 runs at -110!