I don’t like to complain about too many bad beats. This is baseball, weird stuff happens, and most beats aren’t really all that bad anyway. But yesterday’s loss is going to stick with me for a little bit. I took the under eight and a half runs in the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies game. I loved all the star power on the mound with Jon Lester facing off against Aaron Nola and expected a very low scoring game. And that is what we got for the game’s first seven innings.
Heading into the eighth inning, the Cubs had a 4-0 lead, and it looked like we would cruise to the easy victory. As long as the teams didn’t score more runs in the last two innings of the game than they did in the first seven innings, we were golden. Then the Cubs exploded for four runs in the top of the eighth inning to put the game at 8-0. Luckily for us, we were still hanging onto the win by the hook, and that remained the case as we headed into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, in a blowout game, Jorge Alfaro doubled in Scott Kingery for an utterly meaningless run to spoil our bet. The Cubs went on to win 8-1 wo pitches later, and we lost our bet by half of a run. It was a frustrating way to lose a game as we looked to be in great shape all afternoon long and ended up coming up short. What can you do, it happens. For today’s pick, I will look at the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies.
The Colorado Rockies kick off a big ten game homestand tonight with game one of a three-game series against their division rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are starting to understand what life without Andrew McCutchen looks like as they traded the former MVP away a couple days ago to the New York Yankees. The Giants are coming off a disappointing series loss to the New York Mets in their last series.
For the Rockies, they are going through some rough times as well as they have lost five out of their last nine games. They did, however, make up some ground in the National League West Division chase as they are now in second place, a half of a game back of the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. This ten game homestand is played exclusively against NL West opponents, and they need to win a bunch of games if they want to stay in the conversation for the division title.
Starting today for the Rockies is Tyler Anderson (6-7 4.79 ERA), and for the Giants, it is Madison Bumgarner (5-5 2.68 ERA). The Rockies are -135 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at ten runs. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
The bats were struggling before they traded away what might have been their best hitter in Andrew McCutchen, last week. In their last six games, the Giants have scored two runs or fewer in five of them. The fact that they haven’t been able to hit hasn’t really stopped then from winning games though as they have won five out of their last eight games. A big reason for that has been the strength of their starting pitching, specifically today’s starter, Madison Bumgarner.
Madison Bumgarner has really pitched well this season. If you are an avid reader of my daily picks, you know that I love backing Bumgarner. He can win you a game single-handedly. And with his team struggling, you are getting a lot of opportunities to back him as an underdog, and there are very few situations where I wouldn’t like backing Bumgarner getting big dog money.
We saw him win the games for his team in his last two starts where he stared down Clay Buchholz, and Jacob deGrom, two of the best pitchers the NL has to offer this season, and the Giants came away winning both games despite scoring just a total of four runs combined in both games. In August he made six starts, and in five of them, he allowed two runs or fewer. He is just that good.
Tyler Anderson was looking a lot like the Rockies ace for much of this season. His ERA of just 3.50 was very solid considering that he has to pitch half of his games in homer-happy Coors Field, and he was winning a lot of games. But the wheels have fallen off recently as he went 0-4 with an 11.39 ERA in August. The Rockies have lost his last seven starts. They are 4-14 in his last eighteen starts.
Anderson has two starts against the Giants this season, In the first one, he got hammered for five runs in just five and a third innings of work and the Rockies lost. And in the second one, he had what was likely his best start of the season as he pitched eight shutout innings and gave up just two hits in a Colorado victory. That second start came all the way back on July 4th and was the last time that Anderson recorded a winning decision.
This is a starting pitching mismatch. Bumgarner is elite, and Anderson is getting absolutely hammered right now. I know the Giants bats have been cold, but if they are ever going to wake up anywhere, it would be here in Coors Field. I just don’t think this Rockies team is a good enough one to be heavily favored against a guy like Madison Bumgarner.
I was tempted to take the under as well as I see Bumgarner doing his half of the job and keeping these Rockies bats at bay, but then I looked at the fact that Tyler Anderson has three starts in the last month where he has given up at least six earned runs, and I backed off it. So, I will take another shot on a big underdog today in Colorado. Give me the San Francisco Giants as road dogs at +125!