Rockies To Upset Dodgers At Humongous Price Our Free MLB Pick

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 1:26 PM GMT

Chris Rusin of the Colorado Rockies may not have pretty overall numbers, but he has been at his best away from Colorado and gets our upset MLB pick call over the Dodgers Wednesday.

 

MLB Record: 35-32-2, +6.35

The road underdog could reward it supporters with a nice score at a huge price Wednesday night when the probably underrated southpaw Chris Rusin and the Colorado Rockies (26-32, 16-17 away) pay a visit to right-hander Kenta Maeda and the Los Angeles Dodgers (32-28, 17-13 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted money line at Bet365 has Colorado as a generous underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +165.

 

This is the Rubber Game of the Series
Tonight marks the rubber match of this three-game set after the Rockies pulled the upset in the series opener 6-1 on Monday and the Dodgers evened things up 4-3 last night on a walk-off home run by Trayce Thompson, as rookie phenom Julio Urias had his best Major League start but did not factor in the decision. Thus the Dodgers closed to within three games of the San Francisco Giants while in second place in the National League West.

The Rockies are the next in third place, but it is a rather distant third with Colorado eight games out of first place and five games behind the second-place Dodgers. Still, keep in mind that the Rockies finished last in the division at 68-94 as MLB picks last season and very few experts expected much of a turnaround this year, so they have actually been a fairly pleasant surprise.

 

Fine Pitcher at Sea Level
Rusin is just 1-4 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.42 WHIP overall, but his peripherals show that he is a much better pitcher than that and he comes off of his third Quality Start out of four total road starts this year last Friday vs. the Padres in San Diego. That is further evidence that Rusin has a lot of ability, but like most pitchers that have put on the Rockies’ uniform in the history of the franchise, that ability will probably never be realized in the altitude of Denver.

To wit, Rusin has a fine 3.48 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in four road starts despite his 0-2 record, and his sabremetric numbers paint an even prettier picture. That is because he has a 3.22 FIP, 3.56 xFIP and 1.0 WAR, as he has allowed only two home runs this season (one in Colorado, one on the road) and he has been unlucky in yielding a .333 BABIP. Furthermore, he pitched well in his only career start at Dodger Stadium allowing three runs and five hits in six innings.

While Rusin needs to get out of Colorado to fully flourish, he should continue to provide solid value when he is a decided underdog on the road like he is here.

 

Maeda Has Leveled Off
Meanwhile the Japanese import Maeda was off to a sensational start in his first season stateside, and he still sits with a 2.84 ERA and 1.07 WHIP to go along with a 5-3 record with a nice ratio of 56 strikeouts vs. 19 walks in 63.1 innings. However, the league may be starting to figure him out a bit as he had gone four straight outings without recording a Quality Start before getting one vs. the terrible Atlanta Braves on Friday allowing two runs in 6.1 innings.

Moreover, Maeda has a 3.42 FIP and just a 4.04 xFIP, indicating that there is still more room for regression. That is because he is still benefitting from a low .257 BABIP allowed and a high 78.1 percent strand rate, neither of which figure to stay at those levels for the rest of the season. His regression may already be in progress too considering his 4.62 ERA over his last five starts, even with that fine outing vs. the offensively challenged Braves.

He now must deal with a Colorado lineup that is actually performing better on the road this year than it has in many years, especially vs. right-handed pitchers, against whom the Rockies are batting .266 and averaging 4.57 run at sea level this season.

 

Colorado Improved Road Play
Finally, because of that improved road offense and actually having some good starting pitchers this year, the Rockies are only one game under .500 on the road at 16-17, a far cry from the teams of recent seasons that were among the worst road teams in the league. As you would expect with the 2016 record though, the Rockies have been great bets on the road gaining +5.36 units based on betting one unit per game.

It certainly seems that the price is right in this game to look for that pattern to continue, especially considering the road form of Rusin and Maeda coming back to earth somewhat after an unreasonably hot start to his American Major League career, so take the value and back the Colorado Rockies as huge underdogs visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers in the rubber game of the series on Wednesday.

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MLB Pick: Rockies +158
Best Line Offered: at Bovada