Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is having a tremendous 2014 campaign as he has garnered a 2.95 ERA and 1.17 WHIP this season, including a 2.14 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over his last three starts. Zimmermann has been nearly untouchable in the month of June wherein he owns a 1.18 ERA in five outings. Even better news for Washington bettors is the fact that Zimmermann is a perfect 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA in six career starts against the Rockies, including 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA in three home outings.
Colorado arrives in the nation’s capital having won just two of its last thirteen games, and the Rockies are a woeful 16-27 (-7.5 units) on the road where they are batting just .245 with a .297 on base percentage (3.8 runs per game). The Rockies will send Yohan Flande to the mound, a 28-year-old southpaw who has spent the last ten years and 994 innings in the Minors before making his Major League debut on June 25. Flande was 2-9 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 71.1 innings of work at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season so to expect success from him at the highest level of baseball would ignore his long-term record of mediocrity in the Minors.
Flande will have to contend with a Washington offense that hits lefties extremely well. The Nationals are hitting .282 with a .338 on base percentage and a .754 OPS versus southpaws this season. Flande is the twelfth starting pitcher the Rockies have used in this injury-riddled season, but his manager seems to think he provides Colorado with a chance to win. “He threw strikes, and he’s able to sink the ball. Did a really nice job with his debut,” Weiss said. “I think he’s got some deception where he sinks the ball and guys don’t see it real well. He did a real good job of sinking the ball to the bottom of the zone.” I’m not nearly as optimistic as Weiss is regarding Flande’s future in the Majors.
Is there a more dominating bullpen in the game than Washington’s relief corp.? The Nationals’ relief staff boasts a 2.49 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this season, including a 2.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home, a 2.46 ERA and 1.25 WHIP at night and a 2.39 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over the last seven games. In contrast, Colorado’s bullpen enters tonight’s game with a 4.44 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 2014, including a 4.68 ERA and 1.41 WHIP at night and a 4.29 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over the last seven games. Flande only lasted five innings in his debut against the Cardinals (5 IP; 6 H; 4 ER; 4K; 1 BB) so I expect to see plenty of Colorado relievers on the mound tonight.
More good news for Washington investors is the fact that Bryce Harper has been activated from the fifteen-day disabled list and is expected to start tonight. Harper (left thumb surgery) played a full nine innings for the first time on his rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg on Friday where he picked up a single, two walks, two RBIs and two steals in three attempts while manning center field without issue. Harper had the option of taking Saturday off, but he elected to DH instead, and he went 4-for-5 with three home runs and five RBIs. “I feel good about it. We’ll have to see how he comes out of it, though,” Washington manager Matt Williams said. “I think he’s progressing really well. I would say I feel good at some point this coming week. Monday is a possibility.” Harper, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, was hitting .289 with one home run and nine RBIs in 22 games before getting hurt. He played five rehabilitation games in the minors and hit .643, including three homers in a Double-A game over the weekend.
For the technical minds, Colorado is a money-burning 9-21 (-11.1 units) versus starting pitchers with excellent control (<1.77 BB per game), 28-56 (-22.2 units) versus starting pitchers with a WHIP of 1.25 or better, 8-31 (-16.9 units) as underdogs of +150 or more, 37-75 (-25.1 units) as road underdogs (6-28 as +150 or more), 45-63 (-21.0 units) following a win and 5-16 (-11.9 units) after losing six of its last eight games. With Zimmermann toeing the rubber, the Nationals are 32-11 (+16.5 units) versus teams with a losing record, 43-19 (+17.8 units) versus teams who average more than 6.9 strikeouts per game, 42-15 (+23.8 units) at night and 46-22 (+17.9 units) with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs. If those trends don’t sway you, hopefully these will:
- Colorado is 31-63 in its L/94 road games;
- Colorado is 33-69 in its L/102 road games vs. teams with a winning record;
- Colorado is 22-48 in its L/70 games as road underdogs;
- Colorado is 16-35 in its L/51 road games vs. right-handed starters;
- Colorado is 7-20 in its L/27 games vs. right-handed starters;
- Colorado is 2-11 in its L/13 games vs. .501 or greater opposition;
- Colorado is 1-10 in its L/11 games in Game 1 of a series;
- Colorado is 1-9 in its L/10 games as an underdog;
- Washington is 23-5 in its L/28 games as favorites of -201 or more;
- Washington is 10-2 in its L/12 games following a day off;
- Washington is 53-26 in its L/79 games vs. teams with a losing record;
- Washington is 40-15 in Zimmermann’s L/55 starts vs. teams with a losing record;
- Washington is 22-9 in Zimmermann’s L/31 starts as a home favorite;
- Washington is 8-2 in Zimmermann’s L/10 starts with five days of rest
Take Washington on both the money line and run line and invest with confidence.