The wins just keep on coming as we picked up another win last night when we backed the Houston Astros at home against the Cleveland Indians. I felt that Gerrit Cole was just too good right now to not like pitching at home and that if there were ever a time to look to fade Carlos Carrasco, it would be right now, as he had mediocre at best down the stretch for Cleveland.
And that turned out to be pretty accurate. Cole was transcendent yet again. He gave up an early solo shot home run to Francisco Lindor, but besides that, completely shut the Indians down. All told, Cole pitched seven innings, allowing just the one run on three hits and striking out twelve, while walking zero. Carrasco didn’t pitch poorly, but he did give up two runs, and those were enough to get him charged with the loss.
The offense was supplied for Houston by Marwin Gonzalez who had four hits and two RBIs, and Alex Bregman who homered late. With the win, the Astros are now on the verge of closing out the series with a two games to none lead. The series shifts back to Cleveland for game three, and the Indians will do their best to get back into the series. For today’s pick, we will look at the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Colorado Rockies host game three of the National League Divisional Series today against the Milwaukee Brewers, with their backs against the wall, facing elimination. The Rockies are looking to avoid being the first team eliminated from the divisional round this year as they trail two games to zero in the series. For Milwaukee, they are hoping to take care of business today and head back home to rest up for the NLCS.
Starting for the Rockies is strikeout machine, German Marquez (14-11 3.77 ERA) and for the Brewers, it is Wade Miley (5-2 2.57 ERA). The Rockies are big -157 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:37 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
German Marquez has had a strange season for Colorado this year. Through July, he was barely above .500 at 9-8 and hadn’t struck out double-digit hitters in a game all season long. Then all the sudden things started to click for Marquez, and he started striking out a ton of guys. In his eleven starts down the stretch this year, Marquez has struck out at least nine guys, nine different times.
His hot September, he went 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA with forty-eight strikeouts in five starts, was good enough for the Rockies to choose to start him against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the one-game playoff for the National League West Division title in game 163. Unfortunately for the Rockies, the gamble didn’t pay off as Marquez allowed four runs in just four and two-thirds of an inning work, despite striking out nine guys.
The Brewers will start Wade Miley today to try and close out this series. Miley has completely retooled his pitching approach and after missing nearly three months of the season with an injury, has been very good for the Brewers in the second half of the year. Since joining the rotation as a regular in early July, Miley has just two losing decisions, and the Brewers have won ten of his fourteen starts, including the last seven in a row. Down the stretch, the Brewers needed every single win they got, and Miley did not disappoint. Miley has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his starts this season and has allowed two or fewer runs in eleven of his fourteen total starts on the year.
Typically, teams down 2-0 and headed home put up their biggest fight of the year. Many times, the home team defends in game three and then game four, once their pride is protected, and they didn’t get swept, they bow out. I believe that is why we see the line we have in this game. The Brewers know they don’t need this one, and Colorado does.
But I just don’t think the Rockies are going to be able to get it done today. They decided to hold back on starting Kyle Freeland, who has been nearly unhittable this season, especially at home, and go with Marquez, saving Freeland for game four. But I have a feeling that will be a major regret as I don’t think there is going to be a game four.
This Brewers team has been blazing hot and is playing with all kinds of swagger. And even though the first two games were close on paper, the Brewers really dominated both games. Miley has been great all year, and if he does struggle, the Brewers bullpen is really good. The Brewers win in game two was their tenth straight victory, so when I say the Brewers don’t need the win, that doesn’t mean they don’t really want it.
I think the Brewers bats finally wake up today in that thin air of Coors Field and hammer German Marquez. Just like they did the last time they faced Marquez in Colorado, where he gave up a season high twelve hits and the Rockies got blown out. So, I will back what I see as the significantly better team tonight, and take the Brewers as big underdogs. The travel demands on Colorado have been borderline unfair, and I just see this team as running out of gas tonight. Give me the Milwaukee Brewers at +147 tonight in game three as they close out the series!