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Friday’s Free Sports Pick: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies (-138) over San Francisco Giants

Analysis: San Francisco left-hander Barry Zito has imploded on the road this season where he is 0-4 with an 11.28 ERA and 2.51 WHIP, including allowing 36 runs on 48 hits in 22.4 innings pitched.  Zito has also struggled at night wherein he is 0-3 with an 8.56 ERA and 2.27 WHIP, including yielding 26 runs on 49 hits in 27.4 innings of work.  Zito also takes the mound in terrible form as evidenced by his 5.71 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over his last three starts, including allowing 23 hits in 17.3 innings.  Zito’s lack of command and control is best illustrated by his 28% line drive rate, which indicates that hitters have no problem squaring up on his pitches.  And, while lazy and incompetent handicappers will point to the fact that Zito is 8-3 with a career 2.88 ERA and 1.18 WHIP versus the Rockies, those numbers are not relevant to tonight’s start.  In his last four starts at Coors Field, Zito has allowed 15 earned runs on 28 hits in 24.3 innings pitched.  In Zito’s last two outings against Colorado this season, he has allowed 9 earned runs on 18 hits in 11.7 innings of work.

Meanwhile, Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound in excellent form with a 1.74 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over his last three outings. Chacin possesses a solid groundball profile (48%), which is critically important at Coors Field (Zito has a 37% groundball rate). Chacin is also supported by an underrated Colorado bullpen that owns a 3.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP this season, including a 3.34 ERA and 1.21 WHIP at home, a 3.49 ERA at night and a 3.25 ERA versus division opponents. Chacin should have little difficulty taming an injury-depleted San Francisco offense that is averaging 4.2 runs per game in 2013, including 4.0 runs per game versus right-handed starters and 2.3 runs over its last seven games. In contrast, Colorado is 23-18 at home where the Rockies are averaging 5.4 runs per game and 21-15 versus division opponents against whom they are averaging 5.2 runs per game. “For our club, I think we thrive at our place,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “In my opinion, we’ve been dominating a little more at home. We make sure we take care of business there.” While Colorado is 23-18 at home, the Giants are 14-25 away from AT&T Park, giving them them the second-worst road winning percentage (.359) in the National League.

The Giants – losers of four straight and nine of 12 – continue to suffer injuries as Joaquin Arias might be heading to the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Arias was batting .276 and recently had an 11-game hitting streak snapped before sustaining his injury. San Francisco is already without center fielder and leadoff hitter Angel Pagan, who was placed on the disabled list earlier this month and will undergo surgery on his left hamstring. Take Colorado and invest with confidence.

Jhoulys Chacin - Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs

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