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Wednesday’s Free Sports Pick from Oskeim Sports – June 12, 2013

Colorado Rockies (-162) over Washington Nationals

Investment Advice: Please list both Ross Ohlendorf and Jorge De La Rosa

Analysis: Washington right-hander Ross Ohlendorf has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace Stephen Strasburg in the Nationals’ injury-riddled rotation.  A six-year veteran, Ohlendorf last pitched for San Diego in 2012 where he garnered an alarming 7.77 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in thirteen games for the Padres (48.2 IP; 62 H; 42 ER; 24 BB).  After signing a Minor League contract with Washington during the offseason, Ohlendorf’s struggles continued in spring training wherein he  put together a 7.36 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in four games (11.0 IP; 12 H; 9 ER; 7 BB).  After being demoted to the Minors in March, Ohlendorf’s pedestrian skill set has been mediocre at best in Triple-A where he owns a 4.27 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  Let’s also note that Ohlendorf is 1-1 with a career 5.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP versus the Rockies, including allowing ten runs on 18 hits in 11.7 innings pitched at Coors Field (3 games).  Similar to Dan Haren last night, taking the mound at Coors Field (+55% LHB HR; +26% RHB HR) is the last place Ohlendorf wants to make his first Major League start in 2013.

Even worse news for Ohlendorf is the fact that Colorado possesses an explosive offense that is batting .275 with a .333 on base percentage this season (5.0 runs per game), including hitting .278 with a .332 on base percentage versus right-handed starters (5.2 runs per game), .285 with a .341 on base percentage at home and .337 with a .374 on base percentage over the last seven contests (7.1 runs per game).  Ohlendorf also finds little support in Washington’s bullpen that owns a 4.81 ERA and 1.37 WHIP on the road and a 4.40 ERA and 1.31 WHIP at night this season.  Meanwhile, Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa is 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA this season, including going a perfect 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA at home and 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA over his last three outings.  And, while De La Rosa is not recording strikeouts like he did prior to Tommy John surgery, his command and control are significantly better this season.  De La Rosa also boasts a solid 45% groundball rate (5 HR in 74.7 IP), which is extremely important for pitchers who claim Coors Field as their home turf.

De La Rosa should continue to enjoy success against an anemic Washington offense that is batting just .234 with a .290 on base percentage this season (3.5 runs per game), including hitting .213 with a .271 on base percentage on the road (3.1 runs per game), .239 with a .292 on base percentage at night (3.5 runs per game) and .232 with a .291 on base percentage versus left-handed starters (3.7 runs per game).  De La Rosa is also supported by a very good Colorado bullpen that owns a 3.21 ERA and 1.22 WHIP this season, including a 2.90 ERA and 1.12 WHIP at home and a 3.20 ERA and 1.28 WHIP at night. From a technical standpoint, De La Rosa is a profitable 26-8 (+16.4 units) at home versus teams who strikeout seven or more times per game, 49-18 (+24.2 units) as a favorite, 24-2 (+20.1 units) as a favorite of -150 or more, 11-0 (+11.1 units) at home, 19-1 (+17.1 units) as a large home favorite and 14-0 (+14.0 units) as a home favorite between -150 and -175.

With Colorado standing at 26-16 (+9.8 units) versus right-handed starters this season, take the Rockies and invest with confidence.

Jorge De La Rosa - San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies

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