MLB Picks: Greinke Stellar On Road So Lean Arizona Over Colorado

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, June 23, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 23, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

The Diamondbacks and Rockies are both trying to get to .500 and perhaps make a wild-card push in the second half of the season. They open a four-game set in Denver on Thursday.

What You Need To Know
Colorado leads the season series with NL West rival Arizona 6-3, but the Diamondbacks won two of three at Coors Field in their only visit thus far from May 9-11. As one would expect in the thin air of Denver, two of those games were very high scoring, each totaling 15 runs.

Against Rockies pitching this season, left fielder Yasmany Tomas leads all Arizona regulars in hitting .480 (12-for-25) to go with five RBIs, four doubles and four runs scored. Second baseman Jean Segura is 13-for-36 in the series thus far with two doubles, two homers, a triple and five RBIs. Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who isn't usually much of a hitter, is 9-for-27 against Colorado with two doubles, a homer, five RBIs and six runs scored. Snakes star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is 9-for-30 with six runs scored, three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. Arizona batters combined are hitting .295 against Rockies pitching.

For Colorado, left fielder Gerardo Parra leads all regulars with a .405 average against Arizona pitching and has nine doubles, a homer and five RBIs but is now on the disabled list. Right fielder Carlos Gonzalez is 11-for-30 with six runs scored and a solo homer in the series. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has four homers and 10 RBIs. Rookie shortstop Trevor Story has five homers and 15 RBIs. Rockies batters are hitting a combined .291 vs. Arizona pitching with 18 homers.

To no surprise, the Rockies are one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball  in their home stadium, totaling 185 runs in 31 games. They also have hit 45 homers there.  Arenado, a top NL MVP candidate who leads the NL in homers, RBIs and total bases, is hitting .311 at home this year with 12 homers and 35 RBIs. Meanwhile, Rockies pitchers have the worst home ERA in the majors by far at 6.19 -- but then they do every year. That's probably never going to change.


Probable Pitchers
The Diamondbacks signed 2015 NL Cy Young runner-up Zack Greinke of the L.A. Dodgers to a shocking six-year, $206.5 million free-agent deal this offseason. That looked like a huge mistake as of May 12. That day, Greinke lost to the San Francisco Giants to fall to 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA. Greinke has won seven straight starts since and has lowered his ERA to 3.54. He last pitched Saturday in Philadelphia and gave up one run and three hits over eight innings. It was his fourth straight outing allowing two earned runs or fewer. Arizona is 6-0 on MLB Odds in Greinke's past six vs. teams with a losing record.

Greinke clearly likes pitching away from Arizona as in six road starts this year, he's 5-0 with 1.47 ERA with 44 strikeouts to just five walks and an opponents' batting average of .197. Both of Greinke's starts vs. the Rockies this year have come at home and he's 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA. In his career over 19 games, Greinke is 7-4 with 4.06 ERA vs. the Rockies. Arenado is a .207 hitter off him without a homer in 29 at-bats. Gonzalez hits him well, going 12-for-31 with four homers and six RBIs. Story is 3-for-7 with two homers.

This normally would have been the spot for Rockies ace Tyler Chatwood, but he  left Saturday's start in Miami in the second inning with a back injury and was placed on the disabled list Sunday. So the Rockies go with one of their top young arms in Eddie Butler (2-4, 6.26). He started the year in the rotation but struggled and was demoted to the bullpen. Butler relieved Chatwood on Saturday and allowed six runs and nine hits (two homers) in just 3.1 innings.

Butler is 2-3 with a 5.97 ERA in seven starts this year. The Rockies are 1-6 on MLB Picks in his past seven starts vs. the NL West. He has started vs. Arizona once, on Sept. 20, 2014, just his second big-league appearance. Butler got his first win, allowing one run and five hits over six innings at Coors Field. Thus very few current Diamondbacks have faced him in a regular-season game. Jake Lamb is 1-for-2 with a homer. Segura is 0-for-2.

Diamondbacks and 'under.' Hard to go against Greinke on the road with his numbers, even in Coors Field. The Rockies are 2-6 in Butler's past eight home starts. The 'under' is 5-1 in Greinke's past five vs. the NL West. The 'under' is 3-1-1 in Colorado's past five at home. 

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Free MLB Pick:  Diamondbacks -156 & Under 10½ -105
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline & Pinnacle

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