The hot finish to the season continued last night when we picked up the win backing the Atlanta Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves had the opportunity to clinch the National League East Division title with the win, and I liked their chances to close things out on their home field. Mike Foltynewicz for Atlanta had been pitching well all season long, and I really liked him in this one.
Foltynewicz did not disappoint, as all this guy did was throw six no-hit innings to start the game. The Braves may have left him in a tad too long though as he gave up a couple of runs in the eighth inning, but his performance was more than enough to shut the Phillies down and lock up the division title. The Braves won the game and can now focus on setting their rotation and resting their players before the playoffs kick off in a just over a week’s time. For today’s pick, I will take a look at the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Colorado Rockies are in Arizona Sunday for game three of a three-game set with the Diamondbacks, looking for the sweep. The Rockies badly need the win today as they find themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs right now with just a handful of games remaining on the schedule. The Rockies trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a game and a half for the second wild-card spot in the National League, and they trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by a game and a half as well for the National League West Division title. Arizona, while spending more time in first place this season than any other NL West team, have fallen out of contention with a brutal finish to the season.
Starting for the Rockies is Kyle Freeland (15-7 2.95 ERA), and for the DBacks it is Zack Godley (14-10 4.79 ERA). The DBacks are -118 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM PST from Chase Field in Arizona.
All season long it looked like the National League West would get at least two teams into the postseason. Between the Dodgers, Rockies, and DBacks most expected the west would take one of, if not both, of the wild card spots in the NL. But now with just over a week left in the season, the west is fading hard. The Dodgers have done their best to take control and barring a collapse in the central, only one team will get in out west. Which makes every game for both the Rockies and the Dodgers very important.
Kyle Freeland has been an absolute stud this year for the Colorado Rockies. If the Rockies do find a way to sneak into the playoffs, Freeland will deserve the lion’s share of the credit. The Denver, Colorado native has been getting the job done all year long, and his sub-three run ERA is even more impressive when you take into account he pitches half of his games at Coors Field.
The Rockies have been winning a lot with Freeland on the mound down the stretch as they had won thirteen out of his last fourteen starts before he took a loss in his last start. And even then, he didn’t really pitch all that poorly. He pitched six and two thirds and allowed just two earned runs and was a hard-luck loser. In a must-win situation today, there is no other pitcher that Colorado would rather have on the mound than Kyle Freeland.
Zack Godley has been pretty much the opposite of Kyle Freeland this year. Freeland came in with very little hype and almost no expectations and has flourished. While Godley came in with the expectation that he just might be the next big thing in Arizona and has really struggled. His 4.79 ERA is nearly a run and a half higher than last year’s mark that put him on the national map. And recently he has been much worse.
In September, when the DBacks needed him the most, Godley completely no-showed. In three September starts 0-3 with a 9.23 ERA and failed to make it more than five innings in any of those three starts. The DBacks have lost five out of his last six starts. Godley pitched against this Rockies team a little over a week ago and got hammered for five runs in just four innings pitched.
This line makes absolutely zero sense to me. How can the Rockies be dogs in this one? Arizona is done for the year, their only motivation is to play spoiler, something that hasn’t seemed to help them in the first two games of this series where they looked like a team that had given up. And the Rockies have everything to play for with their best starter on the mound.
I guess the fact that this game is in Arizona is why the DBacks are favored? But the Rockies have the third most road wins of any team in the National League this season, and the DBacks are actually under .500 at home on the year. So, I won’t let the location scare me off backing clearly the right side in this one. Give me the Colorado Rockies as road underdogs in game three as they look to stay alive in the postseason race!