Rockies vs. Diamondbacks Game 1
By: Willie Bee
Pick just about any statistical column through the first four weeks of the 2014 MLB season, and you'll likely find the Arizona Diamondbacks at or near the bottom of the list. The most important of those numbers for baseball bettors is Return On Investment, Arizona sitting dead last with a bankroll-draining 12.8 units of red ink.
Kirk Gibson's gang looks to start turning things around in a positive direction Monday evening (9:40 PM ET) when they open a 3-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies. The all-southpaw mound duel features Wade Miley for the Diamondbacks against Colorado's Franklin Morales, with Miley and the D-Backs drawing a -125 chalk line while the total has settled at 8.5 on SBR's live MLB odds.
The clubs met in Denver back on the first weekend of the 2014 season, and the Rockies took two of those three matchups. 'Over' bettors also cashed twice on totals in the 9-10 range.
Arizona has been the dominant team in this series since the clubs first started playing in 1998, the Diamondbacks owning a 160-121 advantage all-time. They've been especially successful at Chase Field where the Snakes have a 92-47 record after taking eight of the 10 played in the desert a year ago. All three games in Phoenix last September skipped past the total.
Rocks Aim For
4th-Straight Series Win
Colorado (14-12, +1.7 units) hit the road this past weekend and took two of three from the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Sunday's 6-1 victory came as +150 underdogs, and marked the third consecutive series win for the Rockies under 2nd-year manager Walt Weiss.
The Rockies have split Morales' four starts to date, the Venezuelan also making one relief appearance about two weeks ago in San Francisco. Both of his first two assignments went into the loss column, but Morales has now posted back-to-back wins his last two times out, taking down the Padres and Giants with 13 combined innings and the only two runs allowed coming on solo jacks.
Now on his second tour of duty with the Rocks after beginning his career with them in '08, Morales last faced the Diamondbacks as a reliever in 2011 shortly before being traded to Boston. His most recent starts against them came in April 2009 when he worked two assignments in April -- both Colorado wins -- before going on the DL and returning to action two months later in a bullpen role.
Home Not So Sweet For
The most glaring shortcoming for Arizona (8-20, -12.8 units) to date has been an inability to win at home. The Diamondbacks are a ghastly 2-13 as the home team, two of those losses coming in Australia back in March, and have dropped nearly eight units in 13 games at Chase Field.
While the Diamondbacks have been struggling early, Miley has been something of a good luck charm for them as Arizona is 4-2 behind Louisiana native and 4-18 when any other starter takes his turn in the rotation. Three of those four wins have come on the road, however, compared to Miley's 1-2 record and fat 6.35 ERA at home.
Miley got the win in the only game the D-Backs took in Denver earlier this season, tossing eight strong frames before Addison Reed closed out the 5-2 victory. He has been outstanding against the Rockies over his career, the Snakes 7-1 in his eight starts while he fashioned a 2.56 ERA in 56+ frames.
Arizona's pitiful play so far makes it very tempting to go with the Rockies in this one. Instead, I'm going to ride another strong trend in this series with a free sports pick on the high side of the total.
My pick: Rockies-Diamondbacks Over 8.5 (-105)Season: 25-26 (-1.9)