Can the Rockies sustain their spot in the standings? Can the Dodgers knock Colorado off that perch, and where might the money be made with our MLB picks in these games?
Wednesday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
The Dodgers got this series to even Tuesday night with a 6-2 victory, getting a 12-strikeout performance from starter Ryu and 10 hits from the top five guys in the lineup, including a homer from Hanley Ramirez, who played for the first time this season after hurting his thumb in a WBC game earlier this Spring.
LA won Tuesday night as -145 favorites on the MLB betting odds , and to our delight covered the spread on the run line at a nice fat price of around +165.
So the Rockies, at 16-11, cling to a one-game lead the NL West, with the 13-13 Dodgers 2.5 games back, as the teams head into a rubber match Wednesday night (10:10 pm ET).
Wednesday's Rockies-Dodgers Betting Odds
In surfing the sportsbook world Wednesday morning the best price we could find on LA with Josh Beckett was the -137 offered at TheGreek, while Colorado with Juan Nicasio could be played at +135 at 5Dimes.
Follow my other series picks of the Giants/Diamondbacks as well!~
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Beckett (0-3, 4.75), by our tough standards, is just one-for-five on quality starts this season. Two weeks ago he held Arizona to one run through 8 1/3 innings, whiffing nine, but over his last two starts, versus the Orioles and Brewers, Beckett allowed nine ER and 15 hits in 11 innings.
For the season Beckett has given up 16 ER and 33 hits, including eight long balls, in 30 1/3 innings, with eight walks and 25 strikeouts; the Dodgers are 1-4 in his starts.
Beckett started twice against Colorado last year, allowing four ER and 13 hits through 11 2/3 innings. LA split those two games.
Nicasio (3-0, 4.62) is also, by our standards, just one-for-five on quality starts this season, but the Rockies have managed to win three of his five outings. Last time out, last Friday at Arizona, Nicasio held the D'Backs to one run through five innings. But on the season he's allowed 13 ER and 25 hits through 25 1/3 innings, and his K/BB ratio borders on backwards, with 14 strikeouts and 13 walks.
Last year Nicasio made three appearances against the Dodgers, allowing five ER and 18 hits in 14 2/3 innings.
Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki has missed the first two games of this series with a sore shoulder, but word is he might be back in the lineup Wednesday night. On the other side of the scorecard Dodgers OF Carl Crawford missed Tuesday's game with a tight hammy, but he also might play Wednesday.
Our Take on Wednesday's Game
This is a tough one; despite their records we'd lean toward Beckett in the pitching match-up, but the Rockies might have the better bullpen. And while consensus tells us LA has the better long-term possibilities for this season, Colorado has been the better team so far. So in keeping value in mind we'll add the Rockies to our list of free sports picks for Wednesday.
Pick: Take Colorado at the +135 offered at Bet 365
Tuesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Colorado jumped all over Los Angeles lefty Ted Lilly and reliever Josh Wall to take Monday's series opener 12-2. The Rockies scored four times in the first inning and five times in the fourth, rapping out 19 hits altogether, playing without both Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton.
The Rockies won as +135 dogs on the MLB odds Monday, while those of us who backed LA took a hit at around -145. And the game cruised OVER its total of 7.5 runs.
So the Rockies, at 16-10, lead the NL West by a game over second-place Arizona, and 3.5 games over the 12-13 Dodgers, going into Game 2 of this series Tuesday night (10:10 pm ET).
Tuesday's Rockies-Dodgers MLB Betting Odds
Tuesday's Pitching Match-UpAs of Tuesday morning the best price we could find on LA with Hyun-Jin Ryu was the -127 offered at Pinbet.com, while Colorado with Jorge De La Rosa could be played at +121 at several baseball betting sites, including BetOnline.
Korean import Ryu is three-for-five on quality starts this season. Through his first three outings the 26-year-old lefty allowed six ER through 18 2/3 innings, but he then got nicked for five runs in six innings vs. the Orioles.
But last time out, last Wednesday vs. the Mets, Ryu gave up just one run and three hits through seven innings, striking out eight.
LA is 3-2 in Ryu's starts so far, with the OVER/UNDERS going 3-2.
This will be Ryu's first-ever appearance vs. Colorado.
After allowing seven runs in his first two starts of this season fellow lefty De La Rosa has strung together three straight quality starts, allowing just two ER and 11 hits over his last 18 innings. For the season De La Rosa has allowed 33 baserunners (hits + walks) through 28 1/3 innings, although his K/BB ratio, at 18/11, doesn't do much for us.
De La Rosa last faced the Dodgers last September, giving up four ER and five hits, including a couple of homers, in four innings.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
The Rockies lose both Helton and Tulo, miss batting practice Monday, then go out and rack up a dozen runs. Go figure.
As for Tuesday, we like what we've seen out of Ryu so far, and he should hold a bit of an advantage in that Colorado hasn't seen him yet. So we're leaning toward LA to even this series with a victory Tuesday night.
Also, in an attempt to recover what we lost Monday, we'll gamble a little and back the Dodgers on a run-line bet.Free MLB Pick for Tuesday: Take LA at the +176 on the run line at Pinbet.
Monday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
This Season's MLB Picks Record: 24-24
Monday's Rockies-Dodgers Betting Odds
After checking many of the best baseball betting sites, the best price we could find Monday morning on LA with Ted Lilly was the -145 at Bovada, while Colorado with Tyler Chatwood could be played at +141 at Pinnacle.
Also, the MLB odds at TheGreek was chalking the Dodgers at -175 to win this series, with the Rockies getting +155.
Rockies-Dodgers Series Set-Up
Colorado began this season by winning 13 of its first 17 games, but has lost six of its last eight, after dropping three of four games to the Diamondbacks in Phoenix over the weekend. The Rockies missed out on the series split with Arizona, losing Sunday 4-2.
Colorado might also have taken a hit Sunday when SS Troy Tulowitzki jammed a shoulder sliding into home plate. He later left the game, and is listed as doubtful for Monday's game.
So far this season Tulo has six homers and a team-high 22 RBI.
The Rockies are already playing without Todd Helton, who's on the DL with a forearm injury.
LA, meanwhile, just took two of three games from Milwaukee over the weekend, winning Sunday's series rubber match 2-0 behind a gem from Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers have won two series in a row.
So the Rockies, at 15-10, are tied for first place in the National League West with Arizona, with the Dodgers, at 12-12, trailing by 2.5 games.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Ted Lilly began this season down in the Minors, doing re-hab after shoulder surgery last season, and gave up 13 ER and 24 hits through 17 innings. Then, pressed into service because of injuries in the LA rotation, Lilly made his season debut last Wednesday vs. the Mets, allowing six hits and two walks but just one run in five innings of a 7-3 Dodgers defeat.
Last year, before his shoulder went bad, Lilly started twice against Colorado, giving up six ER and 10 hits through 12 1/3 innings. LA managed to win both those games.
Chatwood began this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he allowed three runs through three starts, covering 15 innings. But in his first start after getting the call last week Chatwood got clipped for four ER and nine hits in six innings vs. the Braves last Wednesday. The Rockies managed to rally and win that game in extra innings 6-5.
Last year, while going 5-6 with a 5.43 ERA for Colorado, Chatwood made two appearances against the Dodgers, allowing four ER and 10 hits through nine innings.
As for the bullpens, Rockies relievers rank 14th in the Majors with a cumulative 3.24 ERA and have converted eight of 11 save opportunities, while the LA pen ranks 25th in ERA at 4.34 and is nine-for-12 on save chances.
Rockies-Dodgers Recent History
Last year LA took the season series from Colorado 10 games to eight, with the OVER/UNDERS going 10-8.
Rockies-Dodgers Betting Trends
Seven of Colorado's last 10 games have played UNDER on the totals, as the Rockies have been held to three runs or fewer six times over that span.
Our Take on Monday's Game
The Rockies seem to be slowing after a quick start to this season, while the Dodgers might be coming around. And Colorado is without two good sticks. So we'll add LA to our list of free MLB picks for Monday.
Free MLB Pick: Take the Dodgers at the -145 offered at Bovada.
Baseball bettors should check back at this page as this series plays out for updates on the pitching match-ups and more free picks, for what they're worth.