The Colorado Rockies arrive at Great American Ball Park boasting an 8-2 record in game 1 of a series, as well as going 5-1 in their last six games versus .499 or worse opposition, 4-1 in their last five games following a loss, 11-2 after scoring two runs or less in their previous game and 7-3 in their last ten road affairs against teams with a winning home mark.
Cincinnati sends Lisalverto Bonilla to the hill Saturday to make his second big league start since 2014. Bonilla has started five games for Triple-A Louisville this season, going 2-2 with a 5.61 ERA and a 5.27 FIP.
The 26-year-old had a 2.10 HR/9 rate at Louisville and owns a subpar 36.9% ground ball rate. In short, Bonilla is a Rangers castoff who has been traveling through various organizations at the minor league level and hasn’t demonstrated an ability to succeed at the highest level of baseball.
Bonilla now has to contend with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon, who became the first leadoff man to have 30 RBIs in his team’s first 40 games since Ian Kinsler had 40 for the Texas Rangers in 2009. Blackmon also is among the league leaders in hits and extra-base hits.
Colorado turns to southpaw Tyler Anderson, who takes the mound with a 6.43 ERA, 5.21 FIP and 3.96 SIERA, the latter of which is the most indicative of Anderson’s future performance. Anderson has been unlucky with runners on base (63.3% LOB%) so expect his surface statistics to improve once that number regresses towards his career 71.9% strand rate.
The Rockies’ bullpen also arrives in town in excellent form as evidenced by its 2.80 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over the last seven games. More importantly, Colorado relievers gave compiled a 1.73 ERA and 0.97 WHIP away from Coors Field this season and a 3.43 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in night games.
Finally, Cincinnati returns home having lost six straight games, including being swept by the Cubs in a three-game series at Wrigley Field (outscored 24-15). The Reds were a season-high four games over .500 and just a half-game out of first place in the National League Central before sustaining their prolonged losing streak of the 2017 campaign.
Take the Colorado Rockies at an excellent price as Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Friday, May 19.
Oskeim Sports Free Pick: Colorado Rockies (+100)