The Giants-Rockies three-game series closer on Sunday has the Money Line betting odds pricing the home favorites at a whopping -226. The run total odds opened at 7. This is almost too easy.
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There have been three managers fired in baseball this season: Miami's Mike Redmond, Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke and San Diego's Bud Black (Phillies' Ryne Sandberg quit). Frankly, those firings haven't done anything to spur those teams. But I'm wondering if the next to go is Colorado's Walt Weiss. In his third season, the former big-league shortstop is well under .500 and the Colorado Rockies seem assured of finishing last in the division again this season. It's certainly not Weiss' fault that the Rockies just can't seem to find any pitching -- they are last again, by far, in the majors in ERA -- and that the team's best players are generally injury-prone. So perhaps the Rockies wait until after the season to dump Weiss, but I don't see him back in 2016. I'd go get Black as he's highly regarded, was a former pitching coach (and big-league pitcher) and obviously knows the NL West very well.
I also wonder when the Rockies' fire sale begins. The team keeps saying that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki won't be traded, but it makes just so much sense to send him to the shortstop-needy Mets for some of New York's excellent young pitching. It's too obvious not to happen. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez can be had, but he has been banged up again this season and is owed about $38 million over the next two seasons. So the Rockies won't get a ton for him other than salary relief. First baseman Justin Morneau would have had some value but he hasn't played since May 13 due to whiplash and then concussion symptoms. I doubt we see him before the All-Star Break and it could be longer as Morneau has scary history of concussions. Good news residents of Colorado: the Broncos start training camp soon.
As for San Francisco, it continues to hang with the Dodgers atop the NL West, which does surprise me with a fairly weak lineup and some starting pitching injuries. I don't know how Manager Bruce Bochy does it. The Giants remain without two-thirds of their starting outfield: Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence. The latter has played only 18 games this season due to injuries; he has been out since June 2 with a wrist problem and he likely will be out until the break. Aoki was placed on the DL this week with a small fracture in his right fibula. Aoki has been a fabulous free-agent signing for the Giants, hitting .317 with 33 runs scored and 19 RBIs as their leadoff hitter. Aoki strikes out less often than any player in baseball this season at 5.8 percent of his at-bats. Unfortunately, he may miss more than the 15 days. The Giants are going to be buyer's ahead of the July 31 deadline, likely for a bat. Oakland's Ben Zobrist perhaps?
This looks like a total pitching mismatch. For the Rockies, it's right-hander Kyle Kendrick (3-9, 5.96), who is on the short list for worst pitcher in the National League. Kendrick did end a four-start losing streak last time out, allowing four runs and eight hits over six innings against Arizona. He allowed three homers and has now given up a whopping 21 this season. That's easily the most in the NL. Kendrick has faced the Giants once, taking the loss at home on May 22 and giving up four runs and five hits over 6.1 innings. Buster Posey is 6-for-12 with an RBI career off him. Brandon Belt is 2-for-7 with a homer. Angel Pagan hits just .139 against him in 36 at-bats.
It's Giants ace lefty Madison Bumgarner (7-4, 3.04), and he surely will be an All-Star. The team has lost his past three starts even though Bumgarner has been great in them. Last time out, for example, he allowed only two runs and five hits while striking out a season-high 14 in 7.1 innings against the Padres but took a no-decision. The Giants have totaled two runs in his past three outings. Bumgarner hasn't faced the Rockies this season. In 20 career starts against them, he is 9-6 with a 3.13 ERA. Tulowitzki is 10-for-26 with two homers and five RBIs off him. Gonzalez hits .350 with five homers and nine RBIs in 40 at-bats vs. Bumgarner. DJ LeMahieu is only 2-for-20.
MLB Free Picks: No-brainer here. Giants on the runline -1.5, +103 at Pinnacle and the 'under.' Bumgarner has a 2.52 ERA in eight home starts and the Rockies can't hit much away from home.