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Pirates vs. Rockies, 8:40 ET
Last week really wasn’t a very impressive showing from me. It was a lot of 1-2 days or 1-1-1 days. At this point, I’m not panicked because it is early in the season, and I’m basically .500 for the year. I am very frustrated by one game I had yesterday – the Rays vs. Blue Jays. The Rays scored 8 runs and allowed just one so I pushed on my multiunit play, but I expected better from Toronto’s pitching. Let’s turn this week around right here.
The Pirates head into Colorado for a battle with the Rockies. If you told me that one of these teams would be over .500 after 16 games to the season, I would’ve assumed you’d be talking about Colorado, but here we are seeing Pittsburgh with a 9-7 record. They’ve been particularly good on the road. They just split a four-game set against the Cardinals on the road before this game. They don’t have much reason for optimism today though as they have journeyman Rich Hill taking the mound today. Hill has made three starts this season. One of them was solid enough, his most recent one against the Astros. He went six innings in that game and allowed two earned runs. He has been a victim of the home run ball so far this year as six of the 16 hits he allowed have left the park. That’s a bad sign for the launching pad that is Coors Field.
I mentioned only one of these teams are above .500 to start the season. The Rockies aren’t even .500 at home this year, which is where they normally excel. Now, in fairness, they are just 3-4 for the season at Coors, but 2-7 on the road. That’s somewhat in line with how they will probably end up this year. The good news for the Rockies is that Kyle Freeland looks great this season. Freeland has a 2-0 record and has an outstanding 0.96 ERA. He allowed his first runs of the season in his last game against the Cardinals. He doesn’t have any big concerns like walks or hits so far on the season. The two runs he allowed were solo home runs. If he can keep people off the bases, he will be able to navigate most issues throughout the year. I’m not fully sold that he will be able to keep this up all year, but I’ll ride it while I can. He tends to be a streaky pitcher.
I like the Rockies to win this game and I think they do it by margin. The pitching matchup isn’t really close in this game. Freeland is pitching much better than Hill. I do have a bit of concern that the Rockies bullpen could blow this but the -0.5 through five innings is at just -110 and I don’t want to play it. Maybe I’m being too risky early, but I’ll take the Rockies run line at +130 today. I think Hill will give up five runs and Freeland three at most.
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