Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies MLB Betting Series Preview
By Mike Rose
A pair of teams flirting with a spot in the playoffs will partake in a crucial series to kick off the week when the Pittsburgh Pirates invade Coors Field to match wits with the Colorado Rockies. The Buccos likely have no shot to win the NL Central that’s been dominated by both the Cubs and Brewers. The Rockies are in the thick of the NL West race sitting 2 games out as well as 2.5 games out in the wild card chase. Without saying, this is a pivotal series for both clubs for a number of reasons.
Dates: Monday, August 6 – Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Location: Coors Field, Denver, CO
The Pirates caught fire following the All-Star break rattling off five straight wins and seven of nine to get the team off life support. Unfortunately, Clint Hurdle’s squad was unable to carry that momentum into the following week after splitting with Chicago at home and following it up with a crucial series loss at home to St. Louis over the weekend. Pittsburgh sits two games under .500 on the road for the season ( $195 ).
Like this series’ opponent, the Rockies bolted out of the gates in the second half taking two of three from the D’backs in the desert and followed it up by taking four of five against the Astros and A’s. all three of those teams are playoff worthy. Then the gas ran out. Nolan Arenado and his mates went on to drop three of four at St. Louis and then followed it up with a terrible series loss at Milwaukee over the weekend. As competitive the NL West is this season, they can’t afford to slip up in this home series.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, August 6, 2018, 8:40 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Joe Musgrove vs. Kyle Freeland
Musgrove enters start No. 12 of 2018 the owner of a 4-5 record and nifty 3.63 ERA. He’s proven to be an innings eater for a Buccos starting staff that ranks No. 9 overall in the quality starts department. He’s gone seven innings in four of his last five trips to the starting bump, and each of his two second half starts have been of quality. This will be his first career start against the Rockies and first appearance in Coors.
Every year, there’s a pitcher on the Rockies staff that defies Coors Field logic. That arm this season is none other than Kyle Freeland who stands 6-2 with an impressive 2.45 ERA and .223 BAA in the thin air of the Mile High City. Colorado had won each of his five previous starts until he dropped a decision in St. Louis last Wednesday. The Rockies have won seven of his nine overall home starts, but he’s had issues with the Redbirds in going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA and .360 BAA through two career starts.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 8:40 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Jameson Taillon vs. Antonio Senzatela
Taillon leads the team in ERA ( 3.74 ) and WHIP ( 1.22 ), but has only managed to go 8-8 through his 22 overall starts. Injuries have once again plagued the youngster, but he’s been solid since the All-Star break after tossing 19 combined innings of 6 ER ball at the Reds, Indians and Cubs. He’ll be tested in this one with it being his first career start at Coors Field. Pittsburgh’s 6-5 with him leading the way on the road where his ERA checks in at 3.59 and BAA at .255.
Senzatela doesn’t offer up much to get excited about. He’s at best a six inning pitcher and is the owner of a 7.0 K/9 average. That said, he’s been pretty darn good of late in limiting the A’s and Cardinals to a grand total of 2 ER and 10 hits over his last 11.2 innings of work. Colorado has however dropped 10 of his 15 overall appearances and split his six home starts where his 3.00 ERA is a bit unusual. The quality effort he just threw at St. Louis was his first since returning from the DL back on July 3.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 3:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Chris Archer vs. German Marquez
Archer’s first go round as a member of the Pirates was ugly to say the least. The righty was torched for seven hits and five runs ( 4 ER ) through 4.1 innings in his PNC Park debut against the Cardinals. The effort snapped a string of two straight quality efforts he threw for Tampa bay before being shipped off to the National League. He’s made one career start at Coors Field and impressed in doing so logging six innings of four hit and 2 ER ball, but that occurred back in 2016.
Marquez is no doubt the unheralded arm in Colorado’s starting rotation. The righty stands 9-8 with a 4.70 ERA and 1.35 WHIP through 22 starts, but has pitched much better than that of late. Since getting pummeled over the course of June, Senzatela has logged five quality starts through six tries. The lone blowup outing in Arizona really screwed up his peripherals. He enters start No. 23 in fine form, and has dominated Pittsburgh over the course of his career in going 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and .105 BAA through three starts.