Colorado Offense is Too Hot as St. Louis Pitching Has Leaks on ESPN

colorado rockies

Doug Upstone

Monday, July 24, 2017 3:51 PM GMT

There are 10 weeks left in baseball's regular season, and St. Louis finds itself in an uncomfortable situation as the Cards get ready to host the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series.

Having lost a weekend series at the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals trail them by five games in the loss column and are fourth place in the NL Central. This is definitely not an insurmountable deficit, but World Series champions are one bad inning from being 9-0 after the All-Star break.

This week, St. Louis hosts current wild-card leaders Colorado and Arizona. The Cards are nine games behind them in the loss column, which means if both the Rockies and Diamondbacks played .500 the rest of the season, to surpass either one the Cardinals would have to close the season on 43-21, unlikely for a club that is 47-51 (-11.3 units).

Let's take a closer look at tonight's series opener and see if I can better recent 26-19 mark for MLB picks.

 

Pitching Matchup: Senzatela Vs. Leake

After a trio of rough starts in June (19 runs allowed in 15 innings), manager Bud Black pulled rookie Antonio Senzatela (10-3, 4.47 ERA) out of the starting rotation to give him a mental break and a physical one, and he made three relief appearances before starting last Tuesday and winning against San Diego. The 22-year does not have overpowering stuf,f and when he starts walking batters, like he has last six weeks, that is when trouble arrives.

Mike Leake (6-8, 3.39) had a 1.91 ERA after nine starts. In his past 10 outings, Leake is 1-6 with an ERA of 5.04 and revealed to the training staff and coaches feeling "overall body weakness". Leake contracted shingles late last season, and he said the weight and strength lost due to the illness still hasn't fully returned. "All I know is my body feels different every start," he told MLB.com. "I try to do the best I can with what I'm given each day. It's a matter of getting these kinks worked out and being able to get the strength back." Facing a team in Colorado in which he has 7.52 ERA against in four starts is not likely to make him feel better.

 

St. Louis Offense Laboring, Colorado's Bats On Fire

Subtract the unusual nine-run inning the Redbirds had Friday at Wrigley Field, and since the All-Star break they have averaged 3.2 runs a game. Granted, those were all on the road, but even at home this Cardinals club averages only 4.4 RPG at Busch Stadium.

Colorado has won six of seven and its offense and been like Golden State's offense, just in the baseball sense, having averaged 10.1 RPG in this stretch.

 Betting Odds, Head-To-Head & Bullpen Numbers

For this ESPN contest, the MLB odds have St. Louis as a -135 favorite with a total of 9. The Cards are 5-2 at home of late against the Rockies and the total is 4-3 'under.'. The Cardinals' bullpen is 5th in the NL ERA, while Colorado's has slid to 13th; however, the Rox are tops in save percentage at 80.4 percent.

 

The Winner Is ...

The 'over' certainly comes to mind as a play, but officially, I will back Colorado, which 11-2 coming off a three-game stretch with OBP of .393 or higher. Add in Leake is not only in a weakened position, but also 6-15 at home vs. teams who strike out seven or more times a game the last two seasons. (Cardinals Record)

Free MLB  Pick: Rockies +127Best Line Offered: Intertops

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