Baseball Predictions, Pirates vs. Rockies Betting Picks

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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.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies

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.
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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.

Baseball Betting Picks, Braves vs. Nationals Predictions

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals Odds

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals MLB Betting Series Preview

By Mike Rose

Both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals went into the All-Star break trailing the Philadelphia Phillies for NL East honors by a half game and 5.5 games respectively. The Nats figured to be the team to coast to the division pennant at the outset of the season. If they’re to live up to expectations, at the very least a series win over one of the teams ahead of them in the standings is a must! They got two of their aces going, so it’s hardly a shock to see them the decisive chalk to win this three-game set.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Dates:
Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22, 2018
Location:
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

For all intents and purposes, the Braves are ahead of schedule. Not many predicted Brian Snitker’s team to be a factor in the NL East this season, but alas, they’re right in the thick of it. At 10 games over the breakeven point heading into Friday night’s series opener, Atlanta checks in as the fourth most lucrative bet in all of baseball ( $1208 ). They’re 27-22 on the road which has amounted to a solid $1065 return on investment.

It’s quite a different story in our nation’s capital where the Nationals have largely disappointed through better than half of their regular season docket. Dave Martinez has some work to do in their next 66 games if Bryce Harper and company are to live up to expectations. Though currently in third place of the division, Washington checks in with the second shortest odds to win the division ( +194 ) behind the Phillies ( +149 ).

Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Friday, July 20, 2018, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Anibal Sanchez vs. Stephen Strasburg

The veteran right-hander has found new life in the National League. After throwing nothing short of batting practice against AL bats his last three seasons in Detroit, Sanchez has rediscovered how to get opposing bats out. He’ll enter start No. 12 the owner of a 4-2 record and nifty 2.60 ERA. Opponents are only batting .204 against him to date, and he’s yet to allow an earned run in 10 innings thrown at the Nats this season.

Strasburg has proven to be a China doll year in and year out. This season has unfortunately once again been the case. Be that as it may, the righty is one of the best in the game when healthy and firing on all cylinders. This will be his first start in over a month since going on the DL due to shoulder inflammation. Before hitting the shelf, he went 6-6 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The Nationals only won two of his seven home starts, but he’s handled Atlanta’s offense with ease limiting Freddie Freeman and company to a .189 BAA and 3 ER over 14.2 innings.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, July 21, 2018, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Sean Newcomb vs. Gio Gonzalez

Newcomb was arguably the Braves best starting pitcher through the month of June. Then July hit and the feces hit the fan. In his three made starts before the All-Star break, the lefty is 0-3 with a bloated 9.75 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. He failed to pitch through the sixth inning in each, and didn’t make it through the fourth twice. Though the Nationals have struggled against lefties, he’s had issues with them in going 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. This will be his second career start in D.C. He got rocked for 4 ER through four innings in the first.

Though not as dominant as he was a season ago, Gio Gonzalez continues to be the steady anchor that holds down the Nationals starting rotation. No, he doesn’t have the wipeout stuff of Scherzer or Strasburg, but he’s an innings eater and gets the job done more times than not. Relegated to more or less a six inning pitcher, only 36.8 percent of his starts have been of quality. He’s been his best at home where he sports a 3-2 record and 3.09 ERA, and took a no decision versus Atlanta earlier this season after tossing seven innings of 3 ER ball.

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Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, July 22, 2018, 1:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Mike Foltynewicz vs. Max Scherzer

With a 2.66 ERA and a 10.6 K/9 average, Folty has been the Braves staff ace. Unfortunately, his 7-5 record doesn’t state as such, but that has more to do with the 4.4 runs per start he’s received from the offense. Still, he needs to work on his longevity evidenced by a 27.8 quality start percentage. The Braves stand 4-5 in his nine road starts where his ERA falls to 2.54 over 49.2 innings. None of his last six starts have been of quality, but he’s been hard on the Nats through three starts to date in allowing only 3 ER with a 22:5 K/BB ratio over 19.1 innings. He tossed a complete game shutout last time he opposed them back on June 1.

What else can you say about Mad max that hasn’t already been said. He’s without a doubt one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and that won’t change in Sunday’s finale when he toes the bump for the 21st time this season. He’ll be out to snag win No. 13 in this one against a Braves offense he’s limited to just right hits and 2 ER through 14 innings over a pair of starts. Lifetime against Atlanta, Scherzer stands 8-6 with a 3.61 ERA and .254 BAA over 17 starts. Washington’s won seven of his 10 made home starts where he’s only given up 20 ER through 70+ innings of work.