Unusually Low Total at Coors Field Leads to 'Over' Pick in Dodgers-Rockies on May 12

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, May 11, 2017 7:13 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 11, 2017 7:13 PM UTC

It’s an event anytime that Dodgers ace and three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw takes the mound, and he does so Friday night (8:40 ET) in not-pitcher-friendly Coors Field in Game 2 of a series with the Rockies.

MLB Season Record: 13-8

Los Angeles Dodgers At Colorado Rockies (+182, 8.5)

Friday is Game 2 of a four-game series in Denver between the Dodgers and Rockies. Los Angeles dropped two of three there from April 7-9. L.A. then doesn’t go back to Coors Field until the final series of the regular season.

The Rockies continue to be surprise leaders of the NL West, but the Dodgers are surging up the standings and remain -200 favorites on MLB odds to win the division for a fifth straight year. I believe they will do so barring major injury. Colorado is +175 to win the West for the first time ever.

So why are the Rockies overachieving? They always mash at home and that’s no different. The rotation has improved and the bullpen has been excellent. Entering this series, the Rockies are 18-0 when leading after six innings, 19-0 when up after eight and 9-0 in one-run games. The bullpen is 8-1 with a 3.97 ERA as of Thursday. The Rockies took a flier on Greg Holland this offseason, and it looks brilliant with Holland 14-for-14 in save chances and with a 1.20 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. He missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery but was one of the AL’s best closers before that with Kansas City. In 2016, the Rockies cycled through several closers, lost 14 games they were leading after six innings and lost six they were leading after eight innings. They were 12-20 in one-run games and the bullpen had an MLB-worst 5.13 ERA.

I previewed the Dodgers’ home game Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh here at SBR and recommended ‘under’ the total of 7.5. Hit on that one with Los Angeles winning 5-2 behind a strong outing from Kenta Maeda. But the big story surrounding the Dodgers continues to be rookie first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger as he homered yet again. The NL Rookie of the Year candidate is hitting .315 with six homers and 17 RBIs in just 54 at-bats entering this series.

Bellinger started in left field on Wednesday – he had been playing first since Adrian Gonzalez was placed on the DL -- because of an injury suffered by Andrew Toles. He landed awkwardly while trying to preserve a no-hitter for Julio Urias in the seventh inning Tuesday, sliding into the left-field wall. Toles didn’t make the catch and left the game; the no-hitter was soon broken up. On Wednesday, the team announced Toles was done for the season with a torn ACL. The 24-year-old was hitting .271 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 31 games. Bellinger now likely moves to left field mostly full time with Scott Van Slyke and Chase Utley expected to split first base at-bats until Gonzalez returns.


Friday's Probable Pitchers

The best athletes in the world often invent slights or reasons to get motivated against a certain opponent during a long regular season. Michael Jordan was famous for that. I have a feeling that Dodgers ace lefty Clayton Kershaw (5-2, 2.40) is going to be very motivated for this game. Why? On April 8 at Coors Field, Kershaw had his worst game of the season, allowing eight hits and four runs over six innings in a 4-2 loss. The bigger news was Kershaw allowing back-to-back homers for the first time in his career, with Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra going yard in the sixth inning. It was just the third time Kershaw had allowed multi-homers in an inning over his career. Nolan Arenado also hit a homer off Kershaw in the first inning.

Kershaw has allowed a total of four homers in his other six starts. He did beat the Rockies on April 19 at Dodger Stadium, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out 10. He comes off an uncharacteristic four-walk effort in a win in San Diego last Saturday. Arenado hits Kershaw well in his career, going 13-for-39 with three doubles and two homers. Reynolds does not, going 5-for-28 with 10 strikeouts. One guy Kershaw won't face is shortstop Trevor Story, who was placed on the DL Thursday. 

Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.74) takes the bump for the Rox. He dominated the Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Sunday, allowing one run and two hits over seven innings in a 5-2 victory. Chatwood has gotten a decision in all seven starts. He hasn’t faced L.A. this year and was 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts last year against the Dodgers. Corey Seager is 2-for-11 off Chatwood with a homer. Yasmani Grandal is 5-for-7 with three extra-base hits and three RBIs. Justin Turner is 2-for-10 with two doubles.

While I think Kershaw will be better than last time at Coors, I’m compelled to go ‘over’ that openign 8.5 total on my MLB pick because it’s quite low for a Rockies home game; it's probably going to rise. Chatwood has been raked for 14 earned runs and 24 hits in 23.1 home innings this season even off that strong start last time out. He was even worse at home last year (6.12 ERA). It’s also going to be a warm night with the wind projected to blow out a bit.

MLB Free Pick: ‘Over’ 8.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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