MLB Picks: De La Rosa & Cardinals vs Miller & Rockies

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2014 2:10 PM UTC

It's the only visit of the season for St. Louis to the thin air at Denver's Coors Field, which could mean good things for the Cardinals hitters but not for their pitchers. Tuesday's game opened as a pick'em with a whopping total of 11 on MLB odds.

Cardinals In Market For Pitching?
The old cliché is you can never have enough pitching in baseball. It sure seemed like the Cardinals had plenty of rotation depth but suddenly that has vanished with both Michael Wacha, last season's postseason breakout star, and Jaime Garcia heading to the disabled list on Sunday. Wacha, who looks like a future Cy Young winner, has a stress reaction in his right shoulder. The good news is it doesn't need surgery, at least right now. Wacha (5-5, 2.79) will be shut down for a least a few weeks and there's no timetable on his return. That's a big blow. Garcia (3-1, 4.12) has some shoulder discomfort. It's the same shoulder on which he had surgery last May and missed the rest of the year. He also missed the start of this season with a setback in the shoulder. Garcia couldn't finish a bullpen session Sunday. That doesn't sound promising.

Could those injuries make St. Louis an active buyer for a starter before the trade deadline? The Cardinals have one of the best farm systems in baseball so they could certainly afford to go out and get a David Price from a prospect perspective. Forget about a Jeff Samardzija or Jason Hammel from the Cubs as they aren't about to help their biggest rivals.

The Rockies entered Monday's series opener on a six-game losing streak, and they seem likely to be a seller at the trade deadline. Just a month ago this team was in second in the NL West, three games behind San Francisco. Now Colorado is 11 games back of the Giants with three of its best offensive players (Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado) and three starting pitchers (Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson and Jordan Lyles) all on the disabled list. The Rockies' team ERA over the past month is north of 6.00.

Probable Pitchers
Young right-hander Shelby Miller (7-6, 3.56) makes his first career appearance at Coors Field for the Cardinals. He has a 2.76 ERA in June but a 1-2 record. On the road this season, he's 4-2 with a 3.07 ERA in seven starts. Last year he faced the Rockies at Busch Stadium and pitched the game of his big-league life so far: a one-hit, 13-strikeout complete-game shutout. Former Rockie Eric Young Jr. started that game with a hit and then Miller retired the next 27 straight batters. Miller's 13 strikeouts tied a Cardinals rookie record. Thus no current Rockies player has ever gotten a hit off the guy.

Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (6-6, 4.75) gets the call for Colorado. He was hammered his last start, allowing eight runs and six hits while walking five over 3.1 innings in a loss to the Dodgers on the night Clayton Kershaw no-hit Colorado. De La Rosa had left his start before that against the Giants with a minor back strain so perhaps he wasn't right. In May, he was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA but in June he's 0-3 with an 8.20 ERA in four starts. De La Rosa pitched in St. Louis last year and dominated, holding the Cardinals scoreless on two hits over seven innings. Cards catcher Yadier Molina has success off De La Rosa, going 5-for-11 with a home run and two knocked in. Former Rockie Matt Holliday is 4-for-10 with an RBI against him.

Don't rule out the Rockies putting De La Rosa on the trade market, presuming he can get things turned around and have good value by July 31. He becomes a free agent after this season so likely wouldn't cost a contender too much.

MLB free picks: We recommend you add the Cardinals at -105 on MLB odds and the 'under' 11 runs -a total you don't see too often- to your MLB picks for today. St. Louis is 4-1 in Miller's past five road starts against teams with a losing record. Colorado is 1-5 in De La Rosa's past six following a start of less than four innings in his last outing. The 'under' is 4-0 in Miller's past four starts. The 'under' is 4-1 in De La Rosa's past five at home.

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