Large favorites in Monday's MLB odds, the St. Louis Cardinals head to Denver to face the Colorado Rockies, who have been subpar at home this season (11-17).
The St. Louis Cardinals Can Win Because...
These large favorites in today's MLB odds are in very good hands with their starting pitcher for this game. John Lackey has been a consistent and very reliable starter for the Cardinals this season. He's had very few missteps this season. Only once in his last 10 starts has he given up more than three runs, on April 22 against Washington. He has not given up more than three runs in any of his last eight starts. He's given up more than two runs only twice in his last seven starts. He's been a machine for the Cardinals, an important anchor on the staff in the absence of ace Adam Wainwright. Without Lackey's contributions, the Cardinals could not be dominating the NL Central. He's been that essential to the team in 2015.
Then consider this: Since the ball carries in Denver, and since Coors Field is a notorious hitter's park, one of the least friendly places for pitchers to pitch, Lackey doesn't even have to be brilliant to give his team a better than average chance at winning. If he matches his most recent start on June 3, in which he gave up three runs in seven innings to the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis should have more than enough to win. You should also realize that Colorado starter David Hale has a 4.26 ERA. It's based on only two starts, but it is what it is. Can Hale really outpitch Lackey at Coors? It's possible, but you probably wouldn't want to bet on it happening.
The Colorado Rockies Can Win Because...
These underdogs are in a situation where a few factors might break in their favor. As you look at the Cardinals' batting order, remember that Matt Adams, their power-hitting first baseman, is out for several months, and possibly the whole season, with an injury. In a park where more runs are generally scored, missing an offensive contributor such as Adams might matter more than in a pitcher-friendly park such as Dodger Stadium or Petco Park. That's one thing working for the Rockies in this game. Another thing is the Coors Effect, and how it might get Lackey out of his comfort zone. That's kind of obvious, though.
Another specific factor is that the Cardinals might not be familiar with David Hale. He's made only 10 career starts and only two this season. When hitters aren't accustomed to seeing a pitcher, that first game against such a pitcher can be a struggle. St. Louis might crush Hale if the two teams meet later in the season, but on this one night, Hale could baffle the Cardinals with his offerings.
Baseball Betting Outlook
The Rockies might make their ballpark work for them, but St. Louis is such a complete team, one that has continued to win even without Adam Wainwright and Matt Adams. The Cards are again rolling having won five of six and 11 of 14.
With the line opening up at -137 at 5Dimes, that seems to be a reasonable price to take the better team in this spot. 5Dimes tends to have good baseball prices and it’s better than the other shops right now, so I’ll take the Cards for my MLB pick here.
MLB Pick: St. Louis -137