Zack Greinke will make his Houston Astros pitching debut Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies and Astros had the day off yesterday after the Rockies won two of three and the Astros swept Seattle. Houston swept the Mariners and are 7-1 in their previous eight games. With the Astros acquiring Greinke, many have them as the team to beat now. That was the piece that put them over the Yankees and Dodgers, according to a lot of people.
I can’t really disagree with that, especially how the Dodgers have shown how they like to choke in the postseason. The Astros have some clutch bats and arms in their stable. Having said that, it’s a wide open affair and a wildcard could even make some noise. The Astros and the Dodgers are certainly the most well-rounded teams in baseball, though. Their starting rotation and lineup are dangerous from the top to the bottom.
The Astros enter Tuesday with a strong record of 73-40. They will look to shake off the Yankees and pull ahead in August and September. It’s likely not going to be easy with the Yankees’ power, but the ‘Stros have the pitching staff and consistency on their side. I’d much rather be on the side of the clutch club in pressure spots than a team that have constantly come up short in these spots.
This is a point in the season that the Rockies should be vying for a spot in the postseason. However, they’ve had a real disappointing season and need some kind of miraculous comeback to find a way in. The Rockies are out of the picture in the NL West and are 6.5 back of the final wildcard.
That gives them an outside shot at catching a wildcard, but they are going to need to get very hot very soon. A successful series against the red hot Astros in Houston would be a good first step. They’ll send out German Marquez to start against Greinke. Head below for our free Rockies vs. Astros pick.
Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros Pick:
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Zack Greinke spent few seasons on an Arizona Diamondbacks team going nowhere. They had their opportunities to do something, but never lived up to expectations. When that was evident, Paul Goldschmidt went to the St. Louis Cardinals and the next departure was their most expensive player, Zack Greinke. The Diamondbacks pulled the trigger on an expected deal, as he went to Houston to compete for a World Series.
The last time he was with a major competitor was in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. He was tremendous in the regular season for them, but floundered in the postseason. Greinke can’t have that with the Astros. Greinke was sharp with the D-backs, posting an ERA of 2.90 and 0.95 WHIP.
This is his best season since a 1.66 ERA with the Dodgers in 2015. That’s what got him his big contract. He’s on pace to have his ERA below 3.00 for the first time since then. Greinke got traded when he was hot as well. He has a 2.50 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his previous three outings. In five of his last six starts, he’s allowed 2 or less runs. The one trouble spot was against the Cardinals on the road.
His most recent effort against the Rockies was superb, as they were held off the board in an 8-0 win for the Diamondbacks. Greinke surrendered just 4 hits in 7 innings of work. The Rockies are hitting .236 against Greinke in 364 at-bats, so there’s a lot of history here. Conversely, Marquez has seen the Astros in 47 at-bats for a solid .234 batting average and 6 earned runs. Houston are a terrific 41-15 at home in 2019. Meanwhile, Colorado are 23-33 on the road.
When you take the Rockies out of Coors Field, their offense is rather pedestrian. Note that they are scoring an average of 6.46 runs per game at home, but only 4.21 runs per game on the road. There are only four teams in the majors who are worse at scoring on the road than the Rockies. Expect Greinke to have an impressive debut against the Rockies to give the ‘Stros a 6-4 or 5-2 win on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.