MLB Picks: Expect Plenty Of Run Production in Rockies vs. Diamondbacks

Jay Pryce

Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

Zack Greinke looks to get back on track and avenge and Opening Day beatdown by the Rockies when the Diamondbacks host their NL West rivals Friday night. We have your free pick and analysis here. 

Colorado Rockies (10-12) - Chris Rusin (1-0, 2.45 ERA)
The Rockies' 9-0 dismantling of the Diamondbacks last night was the team's greatest margin of victory over the club in Phoenix in at least the last 10 years. The Colorado victory made it three of four in the desert this season, following a 2-8 run at Chase Field last year.

As one would expect playing in the high-air of Coors Field, Colorado is successful with the bats. It ranks third in MLB in runs scored (5.50) and first in total bases per game (17.4). The club also leads the league in longballs. Nolan Arenado, last year's National League homer run leader (42), is back on top. His 10 dingers is tops in the bigs, tied with teammate and rookie sensation Trevor Story.

Manager Walt Weiss sends Chris Rusin to the mound, taking over the backend of the rotation for Jordan Lyles (1-1, 7.64 ERA) who was demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque. The left-handed veteran is 9-19 as a starter in his career with a 5.21 ERA, but has found limited success in the desert, going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three road outings against the Diamondbacks.

Rusin enters the contest riding a 9.2 scoreless innings streak, and faces a roster he's pitched well against historically—although in limited action. The D-backs are seven for 27 overall, slugging just one extra-base hit—a triple by David Peralta. Paul Goldschmidt has done the most damage with two singles in five plate appearances.


 

Arizona Diamondbacks (12-13) - Zack Grienke (2-2, 6.16 ERA)
The Diamondbacks' $206.5 million dollar investment looks like a bust—but Zack Greinke will be fine. He pitches on feel and superior command, and has suffered poor April's in the past (2005, 2010). Incredibly erudite and competitive, you can bet the ace will have an improved game plan tonight, as he looks to avenge an Opening Day stunner in which Colorado blasted him for seven earned runs on nine hits in 4.0 innings. His potential execution, though, is the dilemma.

Greinke has yielded four or more runs three times this season, he did it twice all of last season. Is he in-line for another ugly outing? The Rockies current roster owns a .269 average against the right-hander. Carlos Gonzlaez has pounded four home runs in 28 at-bats, hitting .357 overall. The former Cy Young winner has had the better of Arenado, allowing just five hits in 27 at-bats. Colorado is 46-117 all-time away from home when Arenado is held below two hits.

Arizona is pounding visiting left-handed starters in April, scoring 34 runs in four games. Despite this, they are 1-3 SU. The D-backs pitching is atrocious at Chase Field. Weiss has seen just three quality starts in 15 home games this month; two from Rubby De La Rosa. Greinke is the teams best option to make it a fourth.

 

Final Analysis
In his time with the Cubs and Rockies, Rusin's clubs have picked up just six wins in 22 career road outings; he and the pen yielding 5.3 runs per game. In fact, they are 1-12 in his last 13 away starts dating back to August 2013. Colorado's hitters will have a ton of confidence after shelling Greinke earlier in the season. In fact, they have 39 total hits and 15 runs against the ace in his last three starts.

We're not keen on fading Greinke on the MLB Odds, as he can turn it on anytime, but Chase Field is not a great place for the ace. Lifetime he's 7-6 in the building, allowing 4.8 runs per game. One of these two teams will explode for some runs. We'll jump on the Over 8.5 as our MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick:  Over 8½ -110
Best Line Offered:  at YouWager