Madison Bumgarner still has enough stuff to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the MLB odds and the Colorado Rockies this Wednesday. Read on for our betting predictions for this matchup.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies
Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 – 8:40 P.M. ET at Coors Field
Baseball is the reason we bet on sports. It’s not as quite as popular these days as football or basketball, but it’s been around a lot longer, and the mechanical nature of the game makes it easy to do the kind of sharp analytics that lead to profitable MLB picks. You know, Moneyball and all that. Michael Lewis’s 2003 book gave us all the blueprint for how to find distortions in the marketplace and exploit them. The markets have gotten tighter since then, but the analytics have also gotten better, so if there’s any value to be found in any given matchup, sussing it out will be a can of corn.
Let’s start the 2021 campaign off right with Wednesday’s National League West battle between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. The fine folks at Intertops have the Diamondbacks as +100 road dogs (visit our Intertops Review) as we go to press, but the projections at FiveThirtyEight suggest Arizona will win this game 53 percent of the time. See, we told you this would be easy. But before we lay any wood on the Snakes, we need to make sure the situation on the ground is right – and we need to determine an appropriate bet size, if any.
Start Me Up
Back in the day, we used to simplify baseball betting by focussing on the two starting pitchers in question, then use other old-school handicapping angles like market size and weather conditions to figure out what side to take. Now that the computers have gotten so good, we can look at the analytics first, then use the old methods to reveal why there’s any gap between the projections and the MLB lines.
In this case, the answer could be Madison Bumgarner. He was the hottest thing on the mound back in 2014, when he won his third World Series ring with the San Francisco Giants. Now, Bumgarner is 31 years old and five years removed from his last All-Star appearance. But he still racked up 4.33 betting units last year in his Arizona debut, despite his team going 3-6 in his nine starts.
The Madison Administration
Don’t get me wrong: Bumgarner wasn’t very good out there. But there was a gap between his 6.48 ERA and his 5.85 xFIP (adjusted Fielding Independent Pitching) that suggests bad luck was partly to blame. And yes, Bumgarner got roughed up on Opening Day, giving up six earned runs to the San Diego Padres in four innings of work, but that’s the Padres for you. They led the National League in hitting last year at 12.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to FanGraphs. The Rockies were second-last at 2.6 WAR.
Colorado will send Antonio Senzatela (6-6 team record, plus-7.55 units last year) to the mound Wednesday night, and he also got lit up on Opening Day, allowing seven runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in just 3.1 innings. That’s the Dodgers for you. The thing is, Senzatela has been dealing with a strained right hamstring, so he’s vulnerable right now, and while neither team’s bullpen was very good last year, Colorado’s was worse.
As for that bet size, a 53-percent chance of victory works out to a vig-free moneyline of –113 using the glorious SBR Odds Converter, so getting Arizona at +100 isn’t too bad. We’ll take a closer look at these margins later on down the road, but for now, let’s throw a small bet at the Snakes, and may the sphere be with you.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.