Fade Giants vs. Rockies for MLB Picks

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 21, 2014 5:33 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 5:33 PM UTC

The San Francisco Giants have had an unusual schedule thus far: They haven't played a team from outside their National League West. That continues Monday when the Giants open a three-game set at Colorado.

The Rockies opened as -135 favorites on MLB odds with a total of 10.5 runs for sports bettors that's far and away the highest on the board. It's somewhat rare to see a total over 10, even at Coors Field.

Key Injuries To Both Sides
If the Rockies can get any pitching and keep Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez healthy -- which is unlikely in Tulo's case considering his injury history -- then they will be dangerous. Colorado leadthe majors in runs and batting average entering Sunday. A Rockie won the NL batting title last season but it wasn't Tulo or CarGo. It was outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The thin air of Denver suits him as Cuddyer never hit better than .276 before batting .331 a season ago. He was off to a nice start in 2014 with a .317 average, three home runs and 10 RBIs before hurting his hamstring Thursday. He didn't start all weekend in San Diego and is unlikely to play here. He's still hoping to avoid the disabled list.

The Giants remain without their leading hitter from last year, second baseman Marco Scutaro. He has not played yet this season because of a back injury, and the team isn't even giving him a timetable while being rather vague. Now there are questions on whether Scutaro will play at all this year. The Giants have missed him as their second basemen have combined to hit .193 with no home runs and three RBIs entering Sunday.

San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval didn't start Sunday's game, but it wasn't injury-related. Sandoval might regret not working out a contract extension with the team because the Kung Fu Panda, who can become a free agent after this season, is batting.171 on the season. Sandoval demanded a five-year, $90 million extension from the Giants. Good luck getting that now. Hunter Pence (.188) also is struggling in a big way.

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Probable Pitchers
San Francisco starts right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 5.40). He allowed exactly four runs and seven hits in both his first two outings but held the Dodgers to a run on four hits over six innings last time out. Vogelsong hasn't allowed a home run in either of his past two starts after allowing two in his season debut. He pitched once against Colorado last season, not in Coors Field, and allowed five runs and eight hits over five innings in a no-decision. Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is 3-for-11 with two home runs career off Vogelsong so you can bet he will be in there after getting Sunday off. Cuddyer is 5-for-10 with a homer off Vogelsong. Maybe he pinch-hits if he can't play. Tulowitzki is 0-for-10 and Gonzalez 1-for-13 with five strikeouts.

Colorado starts lefty Jorge De La Rosa (0-3, 7.58). He has some of the worst numbers of any pitcher but was decent last time out, allowing two earned runs over six innings in a loss at San Diego. It was the first time he lasted more than 4.1 innings this season, and he's allowed one home run in all four starts. De La Rosa pitched in San Francisco on April 11 and was battered for six runs in 4.1 innings. He allowed a grand slam to Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. That was only the second slam by a Giants pitcher since the team moved to the West Coast (other: Shawn Estes on May 24, 2000). De La Rosa won't have to face Bumgarner again at least. Pence is 3-for-16 with two homers off De La Rosa. Sandoval is 11-for-34 with four doubles and a homer. Buster Posey is 7-for-20 with five RBIs against him.

San Francisco leads the season series 2-1. All three games, at AT&T Park, were decided by one run. Two of the three went over the total at sportsbooks.

MLB free picks:
Rockies -135 and the over 10.5 runs on MLB odds. Neither starting pitcher inspires much confidence. Colorado is 6-0 in its past six home games against righty starters. It is 7-1 in De La Rosa's past eight home starts against the Giants. The over is 8-1 in the Rockies' past nine series openers.


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