Pitching Duel Makes Under The MLB Pick In Rockies vs. Red Sox

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 24, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

David Price of the Red Sox is much better than his ERA and Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies is now healthy after a groin injury affected his early form, so ‘under’ is the MLB pick.


There could be a sneaky ‘under’ Tuesday night in a matchup of two pitchers that each have an artificially inflated ERA when Jorge De La Rosa and the surprising Colorado Rockies (21-22, 13-12 away) pay a visit to fellow southpaw David Price and the Boston Red Sox (27-17, 16-9 home) for the first game of a three-game interleague series from Fenway Park in Boston, MA at 7:10 ET in a game available on NESN.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.


Rockies Exceeding Expectations
The Rockies finished dead last in the National League West last season at 68-94 and not much improvement was anticipated this year. However, here they are at just one game under .500 at around the one-quarter mark of the season and they are in third place only five games behind the first place San Francisco Giants. Perhaps the biggest surprise for Colorado is being over .500 on the road at 13-12 compared to being 8-10 in the altitude of home.

This game involves two teams that were last in their division last year with the Red Sox doing so the second straight year and for the third time in four years in the American League East. The one exception was when winning the 2013 World Series and many experts predicted they could compete for another title this year. They are certainly right there in a virtual tie for first place with the Orioles after being the winning MLB picks the last two games vs. Cleveland.


Price Still a Stud Despite the ERA
Obviously, one major reason for optimism surrounding the Red Sox this year was landing the most coveted starting pitcher in free agency in Price, and while he is now 6-1 this season in his quest to help lead Boston back into the playoffs after being division doormats the last two year, many observers are alarmed at his uncharacteristically high 5.53 ERA. However, we are not among those concerned.

That is because Price’s peripheral numbers still rank him as one of the best pitchers in the game as he is ninth in the Major Leagues in FIP at 2.68 and sixth in xFIP at 2.87, thanks to a great ratio of 11.39 strikeouts vs. 2.28 walks per nine innings, with that strikeout rate ranking third in the major behind only Jose Fernandez and Max Scherzer.

If you are looking for reasons for the high ERA, look no further than the abnormally high .352 BABIP allowed and the abnormally low 59.7 percent strand rate. Once those statistics stabilize, the ERA should go down and Price will once again be recognized as one of the best pitchers in the game.


De La Rosa’s Season Starts Now?
De La Rosa is more of a wild card in regards to this ‘under’ as he certainly had some atrocious early season numbers at 1-3 with a hideous 10.18 ERA and 2.07 WHIP. However, he was placed on the disabled list following his fifth start of the year vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 26th in which he lasted just three innings while allowing four earned runs, and the suspicion is that the groin bothered him for longer than De La Rosa was letting on.

Well, he has now been deemed healthy as he makes his return, and it is interesting that even while pitching injured earlier on, De Le Rosa still struck out 12.39 batters per nine innings with 28 in 20.1 frames, although his command was affected as he walked an ugly 5.31 batter per nine. But now that he is finally healthy, we may finally see the real De Le Rosa for the first time this year, the De La Rosa who has been the best pitcher over the long term in Rockies history.

Plus, it does not hurt the veteran southpaw’s cause that this will be his first ever start vs. the Red Sox.


Lower Scoring Games vs. Southpaws
Finally, although Boston leads the majors both in batting and in runs scored, it is interesting that the ‘under’ is still 10-3 in the Red Sox last 13 games vs. left-handed starters. The ‘under’ is also 9-2 in the Rockies’ last 11 games vs. teams with winning records.

Expect those trends to continue here with Price regressing to his great peripheral numbers and with De La Rosa effectively being healthy for the first time this season, so go ‘under’ as your MLB pick when Colorado visits Boston in interleague play on Tuesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 8½ -105
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage
MLB Record: 28-24-1, +7.80

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