Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.
The home favorite may hold value Monday night vs. the overachieving starting pitcher of the visiting team when right-hander Nick Martinez and the Texas Rangers (43-48, 27-22 away) pay a visit to southpaw Chris Rusin and the Colorado Rockies (39-51, 21-24 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Coors Field in Denver, CO at 8:40 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Colorado as a moderate home favorite for this contest at current odds of -125.
Rangers Dropping Fast
The Rangers were keeping pace with the leaders in the American League West until recently, but they have now hit the skids going 2-9 in their last 11 games, most recently getting crushed 10-0 by the Houston Astros on Sunday. That leaves Texas 7½ games behind the first place Los Angeles Angels while third in the division.
The Rockies meanwhile are bringing up the rear in the National League West while trailing the first place Los Angeles Dodgers by 12½ games. Colorado was the losing MLB pick in both games of a rain-shortened two-game series vs. the Padres in San Diego over the weekend, but the Rockies now return home where they swept a four-game series from the Atlanta Braves last week before heading for California.
Martinez on the Fade List
And the Rockies now get to face a pitcher in Martinez who we listed as one of our prime pitchers to fade for the rest of the season coming out of the All-Star break. Martinez has already slipped to 5-5 and his regression may have already begun given that he allowed 13 runs (11 earned) in 12.2 innings over his last two starts, but he still has a good 3.43 ERA that leaves plenty of room for more correction.
You see, Martinez has poor command numbers with only 5.29 strikeouts vs. a rather high 3.15 walks per nine innings, and that has led to a 4.65 FIP and 4.86 xFIP that are both better indicators of his true ability than the deceptive ERA.
This will also be his first ever experience pitching in the altitude of Coors, and he will be facing a Colorado lineup that is batting .305 vs. righties in this stadium while averaging 5.87 runs against them. The Rockies put up 24 runs in that four-game sweep of the Braves here last week.
Rusin Has Handled Coors Field Well
Rusin has been very solid for the Rockies as he is 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA, but more importantly the young southpaw has allowed three earned runs or less in four straight starts and in six of his last eight outings. While his 3.99 xFIP may be nothing to write home about, it is perfectly in line with his ERA, which is actually respectable given his home stadium.
And best of all, Rusin has not been intimidated by pitching in Coors going 2-0 in his three starts here with a 3.00 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He held the hot-hitting Angels to just two runs and five hits in six innings here in his last start in an unfortunate no-decision as the Rockies eventually lost that contest 3-2.
He now gets to face a Texas lineup that has had great difficulty vs. left-handed pitchers, batting .228 against them overall this season, .212 against them on the road and a woeful .189 against them over the last 10 games.
Winning Games They Should at Home
Finally, the Rockies may be struggling in the standings but they have been able to take care of teams that they are supposed to handle when playing in altitude, going 9-3 in their last 12 home games vs. teams with losing records. Meanwhile, the Rangers are 1-9 in their last 10 games vs. teams with losing overall records.
Look for those patterns as well as Martinez’s demise to continue as Colorado prevails at home vs. Texas in Denver on Monday.
MLB Pick: Rockies -125