Pitching Points to Value On Rockies With MLB Picks Against Pirates

Drew Martin

Monday, April 25, 2016 6:45 PM GMT

Jeff Locke has about the least attractive metrics you could possibly have when projecting future outcomes for pitching in Coors Field. The 28 year-old is the main focus point for our MLB pick.

Record: 6-3-1

Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburg Pirates will start the last leg of a 10-game west coast road trip tonight in Denver, and come into the series against the Colorado Rockies with a 3-3 record on the current stretch of games away from PNC Park.

The Bucs will turn to Jeff Locke as the starter in tonight’s series opener to oppose the Rockies’ righty Chad Bettis, who has pitched well to this point in the season.

There has been heavy movement in the MLB odds boards tonight, with the early money on the Pirates, then a strong push for the Rockies. The total has been pushed up to 12, projecting runs to come easily, making one of the teams tonight a bit mispriced. That leaves us with an edge betting on the home favorite.

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Colorado Rockies
The Rockies come into tonight’s game with a .500 record through 18 games, and have rewarded backers with just under three units of profit. The oddsmakers/betting markets have undervalued Colorado to this point in the season, and appear to have done it again tonight.

Chad Bettis takes the hill at Coors Field for the second time this season with the hopes of improving his record to 3-0 on the year. His first outing was a gem, as he tossed seven innings and gave up only one earned run against the Padres while recording six strikeouts, and more importantly, no walks over 99 pitches.

The Rockies have put increased emphasis on intelligently pitching at home this year, and control is of the upmost importance as the staff has been focused on not letting walks occur. Bettis has shown his ability to adapt so far, and his seven inning, no walk performance was a big step in the right direction for the 26 year-old former Red Raider from Lubbock, Texas.

Jeff Locke
Conversely, Jeff Locke has about the least attractive metrics you could possibly have when projecting future outcomes for pitching in Coors Field. The 28 year-old southpaw has had major control issues, recording as many walks as innings pitched through this point in the season. 

Locke somehow managed to snake through his first two games, issuing nine walks through only 10.2 innings pitched, and registering a head scratching ERA of only 2.53. His control issues finally caught up to him last time out as he was shelled for 8 runs through only 3 innings against the offensively inept Padres in Petco Park.

He will be facing a much more talented lineup tonight in about the most drastic of park factor differences imaginable, as he goes from the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park to the hitters haven that is Coors Field.

The Pirates’ bullpen has been taxed a bit lately, which is not a positive going into any series, especially one at Coors Field. Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle stated, “Last year, we used our pitching different than we were used too, just based on what we had.

The bullpen was a strength, now we're trying to get more length out of our starters, so we might even go at it from a reverse angle. We'll see." With that in mind, relying on Jeff Locke to go deep in tonight’s game is not a profile I would suggest backing. The Rockies as the moderate favorite tonight at home is a bet I highly recommend for your MLB picks

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Free MLB Pick: Colorado Rockies -128
Best Line Offered: at Heritage