Phillies-Rockies: Colorado Needs Win Tuesday, Philadelphia Doesn’t

Matthew Jordan

Monday, September 24, 2018 4:57 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 4:57 PM UTC

The playoff hopes for the Phillies are gone, but the Rockies still have wild card and NL West title chances as they host Philadelphia in the second of a four-game set in Denver on Tuesday.

Philadelphia at ColoradoTuesday, 8:40 p.m.Free MLB Pick: Rockies MLBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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You will probably notice that we will be a bit National League-heavy in our MLB previews this week, and that’s because that’s where all the postseason drama is located – the AL field is set.

The Phillies and Rockies each led their respective divisions for a while, but I believe both will fall short of the postseason. The future is especially bright in Philadelphia, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, as that franchise has money to spend this offseason and rumors are that the Phillies could try and sign BOTH Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. So, yeah, when the early 2019 MLB futures are out, you may want to put some money on the Phillies.

As for Colorado, we believe it loses out on the NL West crown to the Dodgers and for the second wild-card spot to the Cardinals. Don’t be surprised if the Rockies trade All-Star third baseman and perennial NL MVP candidate Nolan Arenado this offseason if the team can’t get him to agree to a contract extension. Arenado is set for free agency after 2019. Arenado was this writer’s pick to lead the NL in home runs back in the spring and he’s just behind Matt Carpenter. Arenado is also among the RBI leaders but won’t be winning the MVP. That’s going to either the Cubs’ Javier Baez or Brewers’ Christian Yelich.

The Phillies won two of three at home vs. Colorado from June 12-14. The Rockies, meanwhile, haven’t lost a home series to Philadelphia since 2012.

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Phillies have asked Vince Velasquez to take the fast lane | Extra Innings | Inquirer

— Philly Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) September 21, 2018

Probable Pitchers: Velasquez vs. Bettis

Philadelphia’s Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.59) is one of the most maddening pitchers in the National League as he has ace-like stuff (159 Ks in 143 innings) but is widely inconsistent. On Aug. 3, he threw 6.1 shutout innings against the Marlins to improve to 8-8 with a 3.80 ERA. Obviously, he has just the one victory since and his ERA is rising. Velasquez hasn’t gone more than five innings since the Marlins game and not more than four in his past three. And it’s not like he’s walking a ton – just one free pass in each of those.

Velasquez beat the Rockies on June 14, allowing two runs on just one hit over 6.2 innings. With two outs in the seventh, Trevor Story lined Velasquez's 105th pitch to left for an RBI double to end his no-hit bid. Story is 3-for-11 off him with two doubles and a homer career. Carlos Gonzalez is 6-for-14 with two doubles and a homer.

Colorado’s Jon Gray (11-8, 5.07) was scheduled to start Tuesday but was moved up to Monday after lefty Tyler Anderson complained of some shoulder soreness. What does that mean for this game? Good question. Could be a bullpen-by-committee type thing as the team has plenty of arms out there with the expanded rosters. German Marquez is due to start Wednesday, and I highly doubt the team brings him back on three days of rest. Ace Kyle Freeland just went Sunday and the other starter, Antonio Senzatela, went Saturday. This is the last thing the Rockies need right now.

Update: It's Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.18). He had made 25 apperances this year and 19 starts but hasn't pitched since Sept. 13 due to blister issues, which also cost him his rotation spot. Bettis makes a spot start after posting a 2.16 ERA in six relief appearances.

  • Phillies are 7-19 in Velasquez’s last 26 road starts.
  • Phillies are 5-16 in Velasquez’s last 21 starts with 4 days of rest.
  • Rockies are 8-3 in their last 11 games vs. a right-handed starter.

Obviously not ideal to make a Tuesday MLB pick here without knowing how long Bettis will go, but you see Velasquez’s road issues. The Rockies are full of motivation and the Phillies have none. Take the home side.

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