MLB - Surging Colorado Rockies Seize NL West Division Lead
by Fairway JayThe Colorado Rockies won their third-straight game on Labor Day in slugfest style, gorging the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner 9-8 at Coors Field. That victory moved the Rockies into first place in the MLB National League West where they sit a half game in front of the LA Dodgers and 1.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight games after posting exactly 2 runs and 5 hits in each contest. Colorado hosts the Dodgers and D’backs starting this weekend for seven straight games at the beer head, but first will dispose of the last place Giants again on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS AT COLORADO ROCKIES – Tuesday, Sept. 4 Rodriguez (SF) +170 / +1.5 (-125) / O 9.5 (+100) Marquez (COL) -185 / -1.5 (+105) / U 9.5 (-120)
Right hander German Marquez has been an anchor for the Rockies over his last 11 starts, posting a 6-1 record and 2.53 ERA. His 0.88 WHIP and 2.62 xERA support his dominance during that stretch. His last four starts have been even better, going at least 7 innings each game and allowing just 5 runs with a 34-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 29 innings. The Giants lineup is in disarray and San Fran has a .685 OPS against right handed pitchers; fourth worst in baseball.
Dereck Rodriguez is the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. He was drafted as an outfielder by the Twins in 2011, and his arm strength got him a call to the pitcher’s mound in 2014. Although a work in progress, he moved up the ranks and started pitching from the pen in the majors. He too has been sharp allowing 2 runs or less in six previous starts before his worst start last time out against the D’backs allowing 3 runs and 4 BB in 5 innings. His first pitch strike rate has been poor his last two starts, and along with his fly ball tendencies, Rodriguez is about to learn the tough lesson of pitching in thin air at a hitters paradise. Facing a strong Colorado Rockies lineup that is heating up and capable of huge hitting streaks only adds to Dereck’s demise.
Note that Rodriguez’ last four starts were at home in the pitcher-friendly confines of AT&T Park. Now he makes his debut at Coors, trying to snap the Giants three-game slide. Even top pitchers like Bumgarner find Coors Field to be so unforgiving, and Rodriguez is next in line for a rough outing.
Fairway’s Forecast: Colorado Rockies Win, Colorado Rockies Run Line (-1.5 runs).