Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Brandon Bielak (2-0, 1.76 ERA)
The Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros get going on Monday in the first game of a four-game series. The first two games will be at Minute Maid Park and the following two at Coors Field. I kind of like this split series idea with essentially a home and home to fit in enough home games for teams in this shortened campaign. When we go back to a 162-game next season, the normal scheduling will return, but I don’t mind giving each team a chance at home in a series.
The Astros can’t afford to play a bad brand of baseball in Houston and Colorado. They’re 4.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics and could easily fall out of contention with four bad days. If the Athletics have a strong series in Arizona, then have a solid chance to pull ahead and potentially break the Astros’ back early. Following a sweep of the Seattle Mariners, the Astros have advanced to 11-10 on the season. They are only nine games away from mid-season, so the Astros can’t relax after that sweep.
I’m not going to sit here and say that the Astros wins on Saturday and Sunday were good wins either. Any win is good, but struggling to score runs against the Mariners isn’t a promising look. The Astros won by a score of 2-1 and 3-2 the last two days. I find it unlikely that they get out of the weekend with three wins if a quality team was on the other side. The Mariners are not quality by any means.
Despite the successful weekend, the Astros are up against a wall this season. They look distracted and probably need another offseason to start to put their cheating scandal behind them. I think they’re motivated to prove people wrong, but their heads clearly aren’t clear at the moment. They can come back fresh next season and aim for redemption, though it’s likely not happening this season. Rushing back Justin Verlander would be foolish.
Start clean and focus on getting back on track in a normal season in 2021. Brandon Bielak, who has filled in for JV, has been a nice brought spot for the ‘Stros. Bielak gets the nod on Monday, while Kyle Freeland is expected for the Rockies. Head below for our free Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros pick for August 17, 2020.
Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros Prediction:
Brandon Bielak has been performing at a high level for the Astros. It will be impossible to demote him to the bullpen if Justin Verlander is able to return this season. Somebody else will have to be moved. Bielak heads into Monday with an ERA of 1.76 and 1.24 WHIP in 15.1 innings.
I don’t know what else the Astros can expect out of him, but he’s been better than they probably expected. Bielak has appeared in four games, two of which were starts against the Diamondbacks and Giants. Bielak gave up 2 earned runs in 10 innings as a starter. Batters are hitting .218 against the 24-year-old rookie.
The Rockies are third in the majors with 5.45 runs scored per game. However, keep in mind that much of that is because of playing at Coors Field. When they go on the road, the Rockies have been an average offense. They’ve recorded 6 runs per game at home as opposed to 4.62 per game on the road.
If the Rockies played every game on the road, they’d rank 17th in the major leagues in runs scored. Bielak should be able to cool the Rockies off after they put up 10 runs on Sunday in a 10-6 win. The Rockies still stand a decent chance for a win with Kyle Freeland on the hill, though. Freeland could be the comeback player of the year for the Rockies in 2020. He showed a lot of promise in 2018 and potential ace material, but that was lost a season ago.
Freeland posted an ERA of 2.85 and 1.25 WHIP as a sophomore in 2018. He had a major coming out party that season. However, all of that confidence evaporated last season. Freeland was sent down to the minors to work on his delivery. He came back later in the season and was better, but ultimately finished with an ERA of 6.73 and 1.58 WHIP.
Whatever he worked on in the minors and offseason has paid off for Freeland. He owns an ERA of 2.45 and 1.09 WHIP through 25.2 innings. Freeland has conceded 2 or fewer runs in three of his four starts in 2020. 9.5 runs looks a bit too high here, so the UNDER is worth some consideration at Minute Maid on Monday.