Giants vs. Rockies Game 3
By: Willie Bee
Once again, something of a pitchers duel broke out at Coors Field on Wednesday before the San Francisco Giants eventually came away with a series-leveling 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. With two straight games that sat 0-0 through three innings, it's tough not to imagine a scoring bonanza in the series finale.
San Francisco and Colorado wrap up this set with an afternoon affair (3:10 PM ET) that begins with the Giants back to the 3-game NL West lead they had when the series began. Tim Hudson will be on the mound for the visitors opposite Jorge De La Rosa for the Rockies who are small favorites. Thursday's total is 9.5 on SBR's live MLB odds.
The Giants popped three solo homers to do most of their scoring in Wednesday's victory, and manager Bruce Bochy used six pitchers to stymie Colorado hitters. Bochy was forced to go to his 'pen early due to starter Matt Cain suffering a hamstring injury, and the Rockies also saw OF Carlos Gonzalez leave the game early with a sore left hand.
Hudson Seeking 1st Career Win In Denver
A strained hip in his May 11 start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles forced Hudson to miss a start this past weekend vs. the Marlins. The veteran earned a no-decision in the game at LA, the only start this season in which Hudson failed to pitch at least seven innings, but the Giants rallied in the 10th after blowing a 3-2 lead when he exited.
He faced the Rockies in San Francisco back in April, his worst start of the season with Colorado scoring four times in his 7.1 IP. Once again, however, the Giants scored an extra-inning victory, 5-4. Hudson has yet to earn a win in six starts at Coors Field, his ERA a fat 7.41 off this mound.
De La Rosa started the 2014 campaign 0-3 in his first four starts, but has since reeled off five consecutive victories with an ERA just over 2.00 in those assignments. The southpaw was brilliant last Friday at home against the Padres, tossing seven scoreless frames while allowing only one hit. He'll be looking to avenge an April loss in San Francisco where the Giants scored six runs before chasing De La Rosa from the mound in the fifth inning.
Umpire Note, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Jim Reynolds prepares for his ninth game under the mask, the totals splitting in his first eight. Now in his 16th season, Reynolds worked two games at Coors a year ago with both failing to reach the total, giving him a 3-game 'under' streak in Denver.
Scattered thunderstorms are expected to move into the Denver area shortly after the game gets underway. The 40% chance holds into the evening, so a delay is very possible though the game should be played in its entirety.
De La Rosa has a history of pitching well in Denver; Hudson does not. It's that easy for me today with my free baseball pick on the home side.
My pick: Rockies -115
Season: 40-40 (-0.9)
Giants vs. Rockies Game 2
By: Willie Bee
It took a while for the two lineups to warm up Tuesday night in the series opener between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. But once the hitters found their grooves, the crowd at Coors Field got its money's worth as the Rockies scored a 5-4 walk-off victory to inch a bit closer to the Giants in the NL West race.
Only two games separate the squads at the top of the division as they prepare for Game 2 of the set on Wednesday (8:40 PM ET). Matt Cain heads to the mound hoping to help San Francisco level the 3-game series, while Jhoulys Chacin aims to lead Colorado to its third straight win.
A quick check of SBR's live MLB odds reveals Chacin and the Rocks drawing chalk in the -115 to -125 range at most shops. The total started at 10 runs but is up to 10.5 at most baseball betting outlets.
Struggling To Find Winning Form
We saw Cain this past week when he opened the Giants series against the Marlins, a 6-4 San Francisco win in which the righty pitched into the eighth and allowed all four Miami runs on a pair of homers. That was his second start since coming off the DL with a lacerated finger, and only the second Giants victory in his seven assignments this year.
He got blasted by the Rockies at Coors Field just before going on the disabled list, charged with seven runs in six innings though his offense bailed him out with a 12-10 extra-inning decision. Cain has made 14 starts in Denver over his career with a 4.60 ERA.
Chacin is making his fourth start after beginning 2014 on the DL with a shoulder injury, and the Rockies are 0-3 since he joined the rotation in early-May. Colorado is 5-18 in his 13 lifetime assignments vs. San Francisco, Chacin posting a very respectable 3.41 ERA in those appearances.
Umpire Notes, Mother
Nature & A Free Pick
It has been less than a year since Adam Hamari made his MLB umpiring debut, and Wednesday will be only his 21st plate assignment, and first at Coors Field. The Michigan native has shown a tendency for a large strike zone in his brief career, and brings a 3-4-2 O/U/P record for 2014 into this contest.
Rain is supposed to develop this afternoon in the Mile High City, and a 50% chance of thunderstorms carries into the evening. Look for a game-time temp in the mid-60s with a 10-12 mph wind out of the ESE (out to left).
We were just shy of Tuesday's total that closed at 9.5, and tonight's weather report concerns me 2 despite the two starting pitchers helping to make the game look ripe for an 'over' play. Instead, I'm going to get behind the Rockies who have been tough at home, and make my free pick on Colorado.
My pick: Rockies -120
Season: 44-42 (+1.3)
Giants vs. Rockies Game 1
By: Willie Bee
A 3-game lead in the NL West standings might seem safe enough for the San Francisco Giants as they head for Colorado to face the Rockies for three games this week. Bruce Bochy knows that's not true, however.
No lead is ever safe in May, and the ball can bounce -- or fly -- in funny ways at Coors Field. The top clubs in the division get things underway with an all-lefty mound duel Tuesday night (8:40 ET) when Madison Bumgarner takes his turn in the San Fran rotation opposite Franklin Morales. The Giants are showing up as -120 to -125 favorites on SBR's live baseball odds, where we also find a nice round 10 run total.
This will be the third of six regular season series between the Giants and Rockies, the first two meetings taking place in a 2-week window during the middle of April. Each club defended its own turf by taking two of three at home. Those games bring the all-time series record to 196-148 in favor of the San Francisco, Colorado 91-80 in Denver and 89-72 at Coors Field since it opened its taps, er, gates in 1995.
Two of the three games played in April at Coors cashed for 'under' bettors, though it is notable one of those was an 8-2 Rocks win that just fell short of a 10.5 run total. Seven of the 10 played in Denver a year ago also failed to reach the scoreboard mark.
Giants Make Short Road Trip, Rockies Finish Homestand
San Francisco (28-17, +10.8 units, 20-23-2 O/U/P) is beginning a 1-stop road trip before returning home to host the Twins in an interleague set this weekend, the Cubs due in town after that. The Giants just ended a 4-3 homestand this past weekend by splitting four with the Marlins, and will be at home for 16 of 23 games following this series to take them into the middle of June.
Colorado (25-20, +4.6 units, 26-16-3 O/U/P) just won two of three from the Padres to begin this 6-game set at home, but is still trying to make up ground lost when dropping five of six to end a trip through Texas, Cincinnati and Kansas City. The Rockies lead the majors in scoring (5.53 RPG) which isn't a surprise playing 21 of their 45 games at home. What is noteworthy is they're beating the totals on the road pretty regularly, 13-8-3 O/U/P outside of Humidor Park.
Each Lineup Set for
3rd Look At Southpaw Starters
There shouldn't be any mystery for either lineup as the hitters prepare to face Bumgarner and Morales for a third time this season. The two lefties squared off against one another in Denver about a month ago, and pulled off a rare pitchers duel at Coors Field. Morales got the 2-1 win with seven innings of 1-run baseball to go with his seven strikeouts, Bumgarner taking the tough-luck loss with eight strong frames helped a bit by a couple of double plays.
Morales' other appearance vs. the Giants came in a relief role in mid-April, just as most of his previous matchups against them went in the books. The assignment in Denver on April 18 was his first start against San Franc since 2008, and the Venezuelan is now 1-2 lifetime in the series with a 5.28 ERA.
The Giants are 11-6 vs. the Rockies with Bumgarner on the hill, the 24-year-old veteran of five seasons fashioning a 3.19 ERA in more than 100 innings. That number jumps to 5.00 flat in six assignments at Coors Field.
Clouds are in the Denver forecast for Tuesday along with a slight chance of rain, but nothing that should keep this game from being played. First pitch should come with a light breeze fron the north (in from center) and the thermometer sitting on 70º.
This matchup of port-side hurlers produced a very low-scoring affair in April, and I'm counting on things evening out a bit with a free pick on the high side of the total this time around.
My Pick: Giants-Rockies 'Over' 10 (+100)
Season: 43-41 (+1.1)