I didn’t get the result I wanted with last night’s MLB pick between the Padres and Cardinals.
All signs pointed to Miles Mikolas continuing his excellent season against a brutal Padres’ offense, but it didn’t happen. Mikolas yielded there runs over six innings and took the loss.
The Cardinals did very little to help their starting pitcher as they tallied all of one hit through the first six innings. They would get to reliever Craig Stammen for a pair of runs in the seventh, but that’s all they would muster in a disappointing 4-2 loss.
For tonight’s pick I will stay in the National League and head to Philadelphia where the Phillies host the Colorado Rockies in the second game of a three-game set from Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies held off a late surge from the Rockies to take last night’s series opener by a 5-4 score to improve to 34-30 on the year, three games back of the first place Braves in the NL East.
With the loss, the Rockies fell to 32-34 and five games back of the first-place Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Tyler Anderson (4.81 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 1.35 WHIP) vs. Nick Pivetta (3.76 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 1.16 WHIP)
The Rockies will send left-hander Tyler Anderson to the hill tonight, hoping to see him build upon an excellent start against the Reds in Cincinnati his last time out.
In said start, Anderson hurled seven innings of two-run ball while walking just one and striking out five. Like you might predict with a Rockies’ pitcher, the road has been kinder to Anderson than his home ball park of Coors Field as he sports a solid 4.19 FIP and 3.94 xFIP away from those extreme hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. Anderson has pitched to a 5.14 ERA, 5.42 FIP and 5.30 xFIP at home this season.
It was a nice rebound road effort from Anderson as he had yielded eight runs across his last two road starts, spanning 11 innings. That said, prior to those two outings, Anderson yielded just three earned runs over his previous four road starts combined, spanning 19 innings, although he left one of those starts after facing just six batters. Nonetheless, while it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride, a great deal of Anderson’s mediocre 4.58 road ERA comes from his first start of the year back in March when he yielded seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings to the Diamondbacks, who crush lefties.
The Phillies do not crush lefties. Their team .297 wOBA against southpaws is tied for 25th league-wide while their team .667 OPS against lefties is the second-worst mark in baseball, ahead of only the disastrous Mets’ .573 mark.
Although they scored five runs in last night’s game, three of those came on a first inning Scott Kingery three-run homer. Philadelphia had just four hits in that win and are hitting just .184 as a team over the last seven days, good for 28th. They also sport a brutal .592 OPS in that span.
Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta gets the nod tonight from manager Gabe Kapler and he’s been excellent at home this season. In seven home starts spanning 41 innings, Pivetta has pitched to a sparkling 2.20 ERA. What I also really like here is that he’s also pitched to a 1.88 FIP at home, suggesting he indeed has been very, very good at home. Compare this to his 6.23 ERA and 4.60 FIP on the road, and we have Pivetta pitching right where we want him tonight.
Pivetta will take on a Rockies offense that is scuffling as a whole. They knocked 11 hits around in last night’s loss, but the Rockies haven’t been good against righties or on the road.
Colorado’s .304 team wOBA and .703 team OPS against right-handed pitching both check in at 22nd. Their .291 team wOBA and .668 team OPS on the road both check in at 25th. Amazingly, the Rockies sport a 21-15 record on the road this season despite these facts.
We have a scuffling Phillies offense here that is among the league’s worst against left-handed pitching. We also have a weak Rockies offense on the road and a team that’s struggled against righties going up against a pitcher that has simply dominated at home. Add it all up and I think we have a concoction for a low-scoring affair tonight from the City of Brotherly Love.