What a brutal week this has been for us in the ninth inning. Does any book offer a first eight innings bet? We took the Arizona Diamondbacks as road underdogs and had a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning with two outs. Seems safe right? Nope. Arizona closer Brad Boxberger decided he wanted to play more baseball and gave up a two-run homer to Alen Hanson to tie the game up at four runs apiece and send the games to extra innings.
Arizona had a shot to regain the lead in the top of the tenth as they had men on first and third with just one out but could not drive a run across. The DBacks then completed the collapse in the bottom of the tenth when Brandon Crawford singled in the winning run for the Giants. These late inning losses sure can be frustrating, but clearly, we were on the value side on the underdog in this one, we just got bit by the variance bug yet again. For today’s pick, I will look at the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds.
The Colorado Rockies are in Cincinnati Thursday morning for game three of a three-game series with the Reds. This series has been dominated by the Rockies offense as they have scored a combined fifteen runs in the first two games. More importantly for Colorado, they are now in a tie for first place in the National League West Division with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies will look to take a lead in the division with a win, as the DBacks are taking a day off today. For Cincinnati, they continue to slog through the season as the major’s worst team.
Starting tonight in the series finale for the Reds is Tyler Mahle (4-6 4.38 ERA), and for the Rockies, it is Tyler Anderson (3-1 5.07 ERA). The Rockies are small road favorites at -114. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 9:35 AM PST from Great American Ballpark.
The Reds have lost seven out of their last nine games. They have the lowest win total in the major leagues and are an unmitigated disaster at this point. The lone bright spot for the Reds has been the play of Scooter Gennett. Gennett has been tearing the cover off the ball so far this season. He is hitting .344 with 12 homers and 44 RBI. But the problem with Gennett’s success is that it has made him a major target in trade market.
Trading away Gennett would be a terrible move for the Reds. He is a homegrown talent and a huge fan favorite. And on top of it, he is just twenty-eight years old. But the Reds are at least a couple of years away from really competing, so I have a feeling he will be shipped off to a contender at the trade deadline. A classically bad move by a terrible franchise. The Gennett situation sums up this Cincinnati team’s year perfectly. Nothing is working, and if it does start to work, trade it away.
Starting today for the Reds is Tyler Mahle. The second-year right-hander is getting bumped and bruised as he learns how to pitch on a big-league level. He has had some flashes of brilliance. Like in his last start against the Padres where he pitched five shutout innings and picked up the win. But those performances have been few and far between.
Mahle has given up four earned runs, or more in five of his twelve starts this season. He has pitched six innings or fewer in all but one of his starts this season. And the one that he made it past six innings? He pitched just six and a third. He just hasn’t been a guy that is going to give you too many solid performances or get deep into games. You can bet the Reds bullpen will get some more work in tonight.
Starting for the Rockies is Tyler Anderson. Anderson had a pretty good start to the season as he went 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five April starts. The Rockies won four of those games. May was not as kind to Anderson though as the perils of pitching in the rarified air of Coors Field started to catch up with him. Anderson has been better on the road this year than at home, something that many Rockies pitchers have done over the years, and he has yet to lose a game away from Coors Field.
The starting pitching matchup in this one is basically a wash. Both guys aren’t that great and can lose you a game. But when you look at these two teams, the Rockies are the much better team. The Reds have played pretty terribly most of the season and to see them at basically even money with the first place Rockies is a bit surprising. They are at home, and it is getaway day for the Rockies, but Colorado is actually significantly better on the road this year than they are at home.
At Coors Field, the Rockies are just 11-16. On the road? They are 21-13. Their twenty-one road wins has them tied for the most road wins in the majors with the Red Sox and Nationals. Oh, and Cincinnati? Yeah, they have the worst home record in the major leagues at 9-21. So, if this line is a tight one because Colorado is on the road and Cincy is at home, I am going to say this is a bad number. I’ll back the much better overall team today in this one. Give me the Colorado Rockies at -114 today in game three as they sweep the Reds!