Playing away from Coors Field as underdogs in the second half of the season, fading the Colorado Rockies has been a sizable source of income for sports bettors over the last few seasons.
It is no secret among baseball fans and analysts that Coors Field generates abnormal baseball. As Fox Sports' Jeff Sullivan pointed out prior to the start of the 2015 season, the Colorado Rockies have the greatest home and road splits in many statistical categories in MLB over the last ten years because of extreme park factors. The most informative to sports bettors is the fact that during this decade-long period, Colorado ranks first in the majors in total runs scored at home, and last away from Denver. This correlates to a winning percentage rank of 14th at home versus 28th on the road during this span. No one is quite sure as to why a “Coors Field hangover” has stricken the Rockies this long, as attempts to show aftereffects of thin-air to “normal” pitching and hitting conditions really doesn't play a factor on the team's batting on the road. Some suggest maybe the higher elevations require greater physical and fitness adjustments from players, and the boosted home splits come because of tiring visitor pitching. Whatever the case, sports bettors can profit from these inflated park factor figures, especially when fading the Rockies away from Coors Field.
Since 2004, investors would have returned nearly 5% on their investment if they faded Colorado as away dogs in every game. Most astonishing is the lack of runs Colorado has scored in this situation since 2010 (3.3 runs per game)—the season where an expanded strike zone, tighter patrolling of steroids, and a greater emphasis on pitching and defense lowered scoring by nearly a run a game league wide. As we have shown previously, this run-scoring dip has had a minimal effect on runs at Coors Field, perhaps increasing the contrast in MLB odds and public expectations when the Rockies take to the road. Anchored by a young rotation and lacking any real team depth over the last few seasons, this angle profits very well in the second half of the season as the grueling MLB schedule takes its toll on the Rockies. Since 2010, Colorado averages 2.8 runs away from home when an underdog in the second half of the season (July-October). In fact, over the last two seasons to date, batters are crossing the plate a measly 2.5 runs a game overall. That is really low. As you can imagine, bettors have scored a sizable profit in just about every category fading the Rockies and their inability to score runs over this period. Since 2010, the Rockies have won only 29% of away games as an underdog with average closing odds near -165, returning nearly 15% profit to backers of opposing favorites. The under is hitting nearly 66% of the time in this scenario, returning nearly 24% to bettors. For those playing team totals, the most lucrative of all anti-Rockies-run wagers, Colorado has scored three or fewer in 71% of contests.
Looking at some key batting splits for the 2015 season, one can wager that the Rockies' run-scoring woes will continue post-All Star break. To date, Colorado ranks 22nd in OPS, 23rd in wOBA, and 24th in batting average away from home. To top it off, the Rockies face four of the top five pitching teams in home ERA splits this season in their next four road series, including the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Washington Nationals. Keep your eyes on the Rockies when they're underdogs away from Coors Field and use this information to support your own methods for deciding MLB picks.
As always, best of luck.