Rangers vs. Rockies: Griffin's Advanced Stats A Warning Sign In Colorado

Colorado Rockies

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 1:29 PM GMT

It's going to be a hot Colorado afternoon, which should get the balls flying out of the park, and our MLB handicapper takes issue with one of the starters coming into this Tuesday matinee between the Rockies and Rangers.

Texas Rangers vs Colorado Rockies  
Before I talk about this game I am obliged to note how insane my Cincinnati run line pick turned out yesterday. I took Cincinnati and they were up 4-0 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. I had already marked it as a win on my spreadsheet. Well, good thing I took that run and a half because all hell broke loose with the Reds bullpen and they somehow lost 5-4, with the losing run coming on a hit batter. I mean… wow. This business is not for the weary. On to the game at hand;

The Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies continue their home and home 4-game series on Tuesday night, as the Rangers try to sustain their lead in the AL West after dealing with multiple injuries. The O/U for this matchup is sky high, coming in at 12 runs across the board. The home team is only slightly favored at -110 at BookMaker, giving the Rangers a rare run line of +1.5 runs at steep -170 chalk at Pinnacle. The game has a 3:10 PM local time start, which should put any heat of the day in play – and the weather is forecast to be 92 F at game time.


Colorado Rockies
Starting for the Rockies in this game is Tyler Chatwood, who after missing most of 2014 and 2015 with injuries, is on track to post his most innings in a season since 2011 with the Angels. On the season Chatwood has posted a 10-7 record, 3.63 ERA, 76/53 K/BB rate, 1.38 WHIP, and .247 batting average allowed. That ERA would be the lowest he’s had since 2013, a season in which he had an identical 56.3% ground ball rate. As you can imagine, a high ground ball rate and success go hand in hand while pitching for Colorado.

However, Chatwood’s splits tell an entirely different story, as he carries a stellar 1.30 ERA on the road, versus a nasty 5.72 ERA at home. The difference is almost entirely based on dingers, as Chatwood has given up 8 home runs at home versus just 1 on the road over about the same amount of innings. That discrepancy creates a .237 versus .494 slugging percentage in away versus home situations.

 

Texas Rangers
A.J. Griffin starts for the Rangers and is another pitcher coming back in 2016 after a considerable absence due to injury after pitching 200 innings in 2013 for the Athletics. He’s 5-1 on the season and has posted a 4.05 ERA, 60/28 K/BB rate, 1.23 WHIP, and .228 batting average allowed. But the batted ball statistics for Griffin tell a story that could get him in trouble pitching at Coors Field. On the year, Griffin has a 46.7% fly ball, 39.6% hard hit, and 38.7% pull rates on his balls put into play. That looks like a home run derby to me in 90+ degree weather.

The Rangers come into this game on an 8-0-1 streak favoring the Under, as their offense has slumped for long stretches at a time. They had one run through 8 innings last night before tagging the Rockies’ closer for 3 runs in the 9th. That shouldn’t stop here with Chatwood on the mound, especially as Griffin will be in the lineup in the National League park and a complete black hole at the plate.

 

Conclusion
I like Colorado in this spot, and they should be able to take advantage of Griffin’s tendencies to build a lead that their bullpen can’t blow. I’m backing the home team here and taking Colorado with MLB odds as -110 at BookMaker as one of my Tuesday MLB Picks.


 

Free MLB Pick: Rockies -110
Best Line Offered: at BookMaker 
2016 YTD MLB: 46-39-4, +14.21 Units

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