Rockies at Reds – Free Pick May 26th

Colorado Rockies +129 at Cincinnati Reds -137 (Total: 9.5)

Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.55 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (1-5, 5.32 ERA)

The Rockies snapped the hottest team in baseball’s six game winning streak last night, downing the Reds 6-3.  Tonight the will try to make it two in a row against the Reds “weakest link” in the starting rotation so far in 2012.  So why then are the Reds such prohibitive favorites in Vegas??  Let’s dig into the numbers a little bit and see if we can find the winning edge in tonight’s Colorado vs. Cincinnati matchup.

Despite Leake’s struggle early in 2012, he has seemingly turned the corner and found the winning ways of his 2011 campaign in which he led all Reds pitchers in wins (yes, he had three more wins than Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo).  His last outing, his first win of the season, he lasted eight innings and allowed only three hits and surrendered just one run.  In fact, in his previous start (a no-decision) he went seven innings allowing three runs, but only one was earned.  So in his last 15 innings he has given up two runs and is sporting a WHIP of 0.88.  That could mean some trouble for the Rockies lineup tonight.

However, the biggest challenge for the Rockies tonight will be how their young pitcher Jeremy Guthrie handles a Reds lineup that has hammered out eleven homeruns in their last five games at home.  It’s going to be a really hot night (expected to be in the 90’s) in Cincinnati which could make Great American “Small Park” live up to it Coors-ian reputation for surrendering some round trippers.

Joey Votto enters the game on fire, posting his seventh career 4-4 night last night and will be salivating against Guthrie who is traditionally a little less effective against lefties.  I think it might help struggling lefty Jay Bruce finally find his swing tonight as well.  Bruce carried the Reds in April but has been dreadful in the past two weeks.

The Reds have won six of their last seven and eight of eleven overall.  Colorado has won two in a row, but prior to their two wins they had dropped six games consecutively.  They have won just four of their last fifteen games and sit a fat 12.5 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.  For a team with a bevy of offensive talent, the Rockies just haven’t been able to put it together this season.  I like that trend to continue tonight behind a strong pitching performance from Mike Leake.

Free Pick:  Cincinnati Reds to WIN -137 

Chris Scheeren / Author