San Francisco is the defending World Series champ, but has lost its last two games, after getting shelled Sunday.
Colorado finished last in the NL West last year, but is off to a very nice start under new manager Walt Weiss.
Can Colorado continue its solid start with a victory as a betting underdog Monday night? Or will San Francisco halt its losing streak at two games?
How can we profit with our sports picks in this series?
By: Ron Patrick
San Francisco has taken the first two games of this series, after rallying for a 9-6 victory Tuesday night. The Giants fell behind as the Rockies put up five runs on Tim Lincecum in the second inning, then put up four of their own in the sixth and three more in the eighth for the win.
In doing so San Francisco won as a -125 favorite on the MLB betting odds, handing us a tough loss getting +115 with Colorado.
The Giants had been having troubles scoring runs, but rapped out 14 hits Tuesday night, 12 of them singles.
The Rockies, who had been having success scoring runs coming into this series, were held to four hits Tuesday night, and have 10 hits for the series.
San Francisco has now beaten Colorado 24 of the last 30 times they've played.
So with both teams at 5-3 on the season the Giants will shoot for a series sweep Wednesday afternoon (3:45 pm ET).
Wednesday's Betting Line
Most online sportsbooks we sampled Wednesday morning opened San Francisco with Barry Zito at around -140 for this game, with a total of 7.5. Most shops then dropped the Giants about a nickel, to the -135 range.
It's a battle of veteran lefties today as Zito goes against Jeff Francis.
After going 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA last year, Zito won his season debut last week against St. Louis, allowing three hits and zero runs through seven innings.
Including last year's playoffs, the Giants have won Zito's last 15 starts.
Last year the Z Man started three times against Colorado and fared well, allowing six ER and 21 hits through 20 innings off work. San Fran won all three of those games.
Francis went 6-7 last year with a 5.58 ERA, giving up 145 hits in 113 innings. But somehow, Francis made a bunch of money for those bold enough to back him financially last year; the Rockies managed to win 13 of his 24 starts, many times as big dogs on the betting line.
But we wonder how long that kind of luck can hold out.
In his season debut Francis held San Diego to one run through six innings last Friday. But again, we should point out the Padres are one of the worst offensive teams in baseball.
In three starts last year vs. San Francisco Francis got roughed up for 13 ER and 22 hits in just 11 2/3 innings. Colorado lost all three of those games.
Free MLB Pick for Wednesday
We're a bit surprised the line on the Giants for Wednesday's game isn't higher; San Francisco has won Zito's last 15 starts, and bombed Francis last year. Yes, that streak with Zito will come to an end sometime, but for today we'll go with the Giants to complete the sweep.
Pick: Take San Fran at the -132 offered at Pinnacle.
By: Ron Patrick
San Fran took the opener of this series Monday night 4-2, getting an early three-run dinger from Hunter Pence and three-plus innings of shut-down work from the bullpen.
The Giants, in breaking a mini two-game losing streak, won as -175 favorites on the MLB betting odds Monday, and the game sneaked UNDER its posted total of seven.
The Rockies had scored at least five runs for five straight games, but got held to just six hits Monday night.
The loss broke a five-game winning streak for Colorado.
So the Rockies are 5-2 in the early going of this season, while the Giants are 4-3.
San Francisco has won 23 of its last 29 games against Colorado.
Tuesday's Betting Odds
Most online sportsbooks we sampled Tuesday morning opened San Francisco with Tim Lincecum at around -155 over Juan Nicasio and Colorado, then began dropping that price, which sat at around -140 as we wrote this.
Tim Lincecum went 10-15 last year with a 5.18 ERA, which was extra ugly considering he started 17 times at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park.
In his first start of this season last Wednesday Lincecum held the Dodgers to two unearned runs over five innings, but walked seven guys, and needed 91 pitches to get 15 outs.
Last year Lincecum started six times vs. Colorado, allowing 17 ER and 37 hits in 34 2/3 innings. The Giants went 3-3 in those games.
Nicasio, meanwhile, put up a 5.28 ERA last year in 58 innings for the Rocks. This Spring he made the rotation even while giving up 11 ER in 20 innings of work. In his first start of this season Nicasio held the Brewers to two runs through six innings of a 7-3 victory in Milwaukee last Wednesday, although it took him 97 pitches to get that far.
Nicasio did not pitch against San Francisco last year.
Free MLB Pick for Tuesday
Speaking strictly about his abilities to get batters out in an efficient manner, Lincecum is just too darn flaky for our taste. So we'll look for Colorado to even this series Tuesday night.
MLB Pick: Take the Rockies at the +129 offered at 5Dimes.
By: Ron Patrick
Rockies-Giants Betting Odds
As of early Monday morning on the MLB betting odds boards the best price we could find on the Giants, with Madison Bumgarner starting on the mound, was the -159 offered at TheGreek. On the other side of the coin the Rockies, with Jorge De La Rosa going, could be found getting +158 at 5Dimes.
Also, many online sportsbooks are chalking San Francisco at -230 to win this series, with Colorado getting +190 as the underdog.
On the MLB futures market the Giants began this season last week as a 9/5 pick to win the NL West again, with a regular-season wins OVER/UNDER of 88, while the Rockies went off getting 20/1 to win the West with a wins total of 71.
Rockies-Giants Series Set-Up
San Francisco, as we recall, won the World Series last year. Over the winter the Giants didn't lose much personnel-wise, and didn't add much, either. So basically they're about the same team that won all those elimination games last October.
The Giants (3-3) opened this season by taking two of three games from the Dodgers in LA, but just lost two of three at home to St. Louis. Through its first four games San Francisco pitching allowed just seven runs total; in losing Saturday and Sunday they got bombed for 20 runs.
Also, Giants bats have tallied just 15 runs through their first six games.
Colorado hit near-bottom last year, going 64-98 in an injury-riddled season. Over the off-season the Rockies didn't do a whole lot in the acquisitions department, instead keeping most of what was on hand. So basically, like the Giants, they return about the same team they fielded last yer, except hopefully they'll be a little healthier.
But Colorado (5-1) opened this season by taking two of three games from the Brewers in Milwaukee, then over the weekend took two of three games at home from the Padres. Sunday the Rockies banged out 15 hits, including four doubles, a triple and two homers, in beating San Diego 9-1.
Through its first six games Colorado has hit 13 homers and scored 39 runs.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Bumgarner went 16-11 last year with a 3.37 ERA, allowing 183 hits in 208 innings, walking 49 and striking out 191. He then went 1-2 in the playoffs.
He also went three-for-four in quality starts vs. Colorado last year, allowing eight ER over 23 2/3 innings. The Giants won all four of those games.
This Spring Bums gave up five ER in 20 innings of prep work.
Bumgarner then began this season with a very solid outing, holding the Dodgers to squat over eight innings of a 3-0 San Francisco win last Tuesday.
On the other side of this lefty-vs.-lefty match-up De La Rose threw just 10 innings in the Majors last year, coming back after having Tommy John surgery on his elbow.
Last year De La Rosa started once vs. San Francisco and got nicked for six runs in just 3 2/3 innings.
But this Spring DLR allowed only three ER through 12 innings, striking out 13.
Then again, in his first start of this season last Tuesday in Milwaukee De La Rosa gave up four runs and five hits with three walks in less than five innings of a game the Rockies eventually won 8-4.
Among the bullpens last year San Francisco posted a 3.56 ERA, which ranked 15th in the Majors, while Colorado relievers combined for a 4.52 ERA, which ranked third-worst.
But so far this year the Rockies' pen has allowed six ER in 19 innings of work, while Giants relievers have given up nine ER in 18 innings.
Rockies-Giants Betting Trends
Last year San Francisco took the season series from Colorado by a lopsided 14-4 margin. Also, 12 of those 18 games played OVER on the totals
Colorado OF Mike Cuddyer, who's already hit two homers and knocked in seven runs this season, has a sore wrist and is questionable for Monday's game.
Free MLB Pick for Monday
This pick is tougher than a first glance might indicate. San Fran has the better long-term prospects, but is having trouble scoring runs. Colorado, meanwhile, is likely to finish below .500 this season, but at the moment is banging the ball around pretty good.
But good pitching usually beats good hitting, so we like the home team to take the opener of this series Monday night.
Pick: Take the Giants at the -159 offered at TheGreek.Baseball bettors should check back at this page over the next couple of days for updates and free picks on the rest of this series.