Free MLB Picks: Rockies On The Run Line A Live Dog On Monday Night

Colorado Rockies

Mark Lathrop

Monday, August 15, 2016 2:31 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 2:31 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper loves Max Scherzer of the Nationals, but he also knows a situation with value when he sees one. Read on as he goes against conventional wisdom with one of the top pitchers in the MLB on the mound. 

With the Washington Nationals running away with the NL East lately, they take their recent hot play on the road as they visit the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field tonight. The Rockies are a distant third place in the NL West, but yet only find themselves 5.5 games back in the wild card standings with 44 games to play. They’ve hit a rough patch to match the Nationals hot one though, winning only 2 out of their last 10 games. Even though the Rockies have a losing record at 56-62, their run differential of +12 is much better than that of the Texas Rangers, who at 69-50 with a -1 run differential is the luckiest team in baseball (hint: start fading the Rangers soon).

With the momentum these teams are exhibiting coming into this game, it is no surprise that the Nationals are heavily favored on the moneyline at -175 at BetOnline. That is making the run line at about even money right now with the Rockies getting 1.5 runs, as it sits at -104 at Pinnacle. The O/U total is sitting at a low-for-Coors-Field 9.5 runs at some books, while some books are hanging a 10 run total, like BookMaker.

Getting the start for the Rockies tonight is Jorge de la Rosa, who is carrying a 7-7 win-loss record on the season. On the year he has compiled a 5.25 ERA, 72/45 K/BB rate, 1.59 WHIP, and .281 batting average allowed. He had an extremely rough patch to start the year but has come on as of late. After posting a terrible 11.76 ERA in April and 11.81 ERA in May, de la Rosa has posted a 1.96 ERA in June, 4.21 ERA in July, and 3.27 ERA in August. Also important for any pitcher, but especially one who resides at Coors Field, de la Rosa has only given up 2 home runs since the calendar hit July - over 47.1 innings pitched.

The last time I covered the Nationals, Max Scherzer was on the mound, just like he will be on tonight. He was a -215 favorite that night and I backed him for an easy moneyline win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. His next outing was a hard luck 3-1 loss though, as he pitched seven innings while giving up just one earned run and striking out 10 against the Cleveland Indians on August 9th.

Scherzer is having one of the best seasons of his career on the mound, putting up stats galore. On the season he’s posted a 2.80 ERA, 208/39 K/BB rate (woah), 0.91 WHIP, and .186 batting average allowed. He’s been absolutely murderous against right handers on the year, allowing them to hit only .147 on him over the season – compared to a .222 average allowed versus southpaws. Interestingly enough, his last two starts against Colorado were losses as a heavy moneyline favorite in 2015. Scherzer is only 1-4 against the Rockies over his career.

Regardless of who the opposing pitcher is, if the home team is near even money on the run line as an underdog I’m going to take a hard look at that line. This situation is no different. The Rockies run differential tell the story of a .500 ball club, and a .500 ball club at home getting 1.5 runs has some inherent value. I’m holding my nose and staying with my strategy here, and will take Colorado +1.5 runs at -104 at Pinnacle as my Monday night MLB Pick.


MLB Picks: Colorado +1.5 at -104
Best Line Offered: with Pinnacle Sports
2016 YTD MLB: 47-32-4, +12.64 Units

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