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Colorado Rockies (-156) over Arizona Diamondbacks

Analysis: After blowing out his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery in 2011, Colorado southpaw Jorge De La Rosa has returned with a very good skill set. In his first season back (2013), De La Rosa compiled an impressive 3.49 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, which was supported by underlying skills as evidenced by his 3.76 FIP. In fact, the 3.76 FIP mark was 13% better than the league average. While De La Rosa lost a few mph off his velocity, he compensated by utilizing his two-seam fastball and offspeed pitches. De La Rosa’s success was fueled by a career-low fly ball rate (27.6%), together with an elite 7.7% HR/FB rate.

De La Rosa has carried over his success in 2013 as the 33-year-old is 6-3 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.16 WHIP this season. Moreover, De la Rosa is 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.25 WHIP at home and 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 0.84 WHIP over his last three outings. “He’s our guy; he’s special,” catcher Wilin Rosario said of De La Rosa. Another encouraging sign for De La Rosa is the fact that his strikeout rate has increased to 7.3 K/9, while his walk rate of 3.5 BB/9 is below is career average of 4.2 BB/9. Let’s also note that De la Rosa is 8-5 with a career 2.69 ERA and 1.24 WHIP versus the Diamondbacks.

Arizona arrives in town with a scuffling offense that is batting .251 with a .298 on base percentage (3.8 runs per game), including hitting .231 with a .285 on base percentage on the road (3.5 runs per game). In contrast, Colorado’s explosive lineup is batting .283 with a .332 on base percentage at home this season (5.0 runs per game), including hitting .342 with a .387 on base percentage at home (7.0 runs per game) and .287 with a .334 on base percentage at night (5.0 runs per game). As many of you know from past baseball seasons, one of my favorite things to do is invest against first-time and/or rookie starters at Coors Field. Visiting starters have often said that Coors Field plays “psychological” games with pitchers as the altitude affects the trajectory and results of various pitches.

Arizona starter Chase Anderson won his Major League debut back on May 11 and stands at a perfect 3-0 on the season. Anderson is not considered a top prospect despite posting a decent 3.44 ERA over six Minor league seasons. Overall, Anderson owns a 4.02 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over three starts in 2014, which is consistent with his xFIP (3.92) and SIERA (4.23) marks. However, Anderson faces his most difficult task yet against the Rockies’ offense at Coors Field. From a technical standpoint, De La Rosa is 29-9 (+19.6 units) versus teams with a win percentage between .380 and .460, 15-2 (+11.7 units) as a favorite, 44-15 (+22.6 units) as a home favorite, 16-1 (+14.5 units) as a home favorite of -150 to -175, 18-0 (+20.0 units) following a loss, 12-2 (+9.2 units) at night and 16-2 (+13.2 units) at home.

Colorado is also happy to be home after a grueling nine-game road trip. “We’re really happy to go home and just feel rested,” Carlos Gonzalez said. “It will be a good thing to go home for some home cookin’.” The Rockies are a profitable 20-7 in their last 27 home games following a road trip of seven or more days so I expect a very focused effort from Colorado tonight. I will end the analysis with the following trends:

  • Colorado is 40-11 in D La Rosa’s L/51 home starts;
  • Colorado is 18-2 in De La Rosa’s L/20 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200;
  • Colorado is 13-3 in De La Rosa’s L/16 starts against the National League West
  • Colorado is 10-0 in De La Rosa’s L/10 home starts vs. Arizona
  • Diamondbacks are 9-23 in their L/32 games in game 1 of a series;
  • Diamondbacks are 3-9 in their L/12 games following a day off

Take Colorado and invest with confidence.

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