MLB Picks: Padres Have Edge Against Rockies With Shields Starting in Series Finale

David Lawrence

Saturday, May 2, 2015 9:41 PM GMT

The Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres are part of a four-team cluster that’s trying to chase down the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. What will happen when they meet on the MLB betting lines on Sunday?

The Colorado Rockies Can Win Because…
They have a very confident and effective pitcher on the mound for them right now. Tyler Matzek might not be dominant, but he’s certainly consistent and productive for a team that has long struggled with getting quality starting pitching up and down its rotation. MLB odds makers know that the Rockies, playing at elevation in Denver, play in a ballpark (Coors Field) and an environment that is conducive to allowing a lot of home runs. Pitchers get scared when they play for Colorado – the Rockies have not produced many great pitchers in their history, which dates back only 22 years. Matzek is giving the Rockies a noticeable boost with his performance so far in 2015. Only a one-year major-leaguer, Matzek seems to be quickly learning the ropes. He has a 2.70 ERA for the season, and that’s the result of not giving up more than two runs in any single start so far. He stays out of the big inning and pitches out of trouble. The fact that the San Diego Padres have lost seven out of their last nine games and three out of their last four should give Matzek the belief that he can once again set the right tone for his team in this game on Sunday.

Who Will Win the Competitive NL West?

The San Diego Padres Can Win Because…
They have a proven major-league starter with a lot more experience than Matzek, someone who can take the ball and go deeper into the game. There’s one fundamental difference between Matzek and San Diego starter James Shields: Matzek is not an endurance man, at least not yet. Matzek has pitched past the fifth inning only once in 2015, while Shields has pitched at least six complete innings in all five of his prior starts. Shields’ 2.90 ERA is not quite as good as Matzek’s mark, but it is based on more innings. What also has to be pointed out is that Shields has seen his team’s bullpen get blasted twice in games he’s started. Shields has never allowed more than three earned runs in any start this year. He’s been a rock for the Padres. He should be expected to outpitch Matzek in this game, and since Matzek is a five-inning guy for the most part, the Padres should look forward to being able to get good pitches to hit against a mediocre Colorado bullpen.

The other reason to pick the Padres here is that after getting swept by Houston, a hot team, San Diego ripped the Rockies, 14-3, on Friday night in the first game of this series. Getting the bats to wake up should push the Padres forward on Sunday. This is something the team needed to experience in order to regain a sharper edge at the plate.

 

Outlook
The Shields-Matzek matchup gives San Diego a slight edge. The Padres’ ability to rough up Colorado pitching, including the bullpen, on Friday should help the Padres even more on Sunday, so take them with our MLB picks.

MLB Pick: San Diego at GTBets