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Rockies vs. Pirates 4/17/18 Pick

Colorado Rockies (10-8 Overall, 8-4 Road)(Chad Bettis 2-0, 2.04 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (11-5 Overall, 4-3 Home)(Trevor Williams 3-0, 1.56 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
When: 7:05PM EST
TV: 659/683 (DirecTV)
by Kevin, MLB Handicapper, Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Col +130/Pit -140

The Rockies

The Colorado Rockies on the road this season have been an enigma.

e·nig·ma
noun
a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

The Rockies may look impressive with their 8-4 road record but when you take a look under the hood, their engine resembles that of a 3-cylinder Geo Metro.

The Rocks have sported a very unimpressive .214 batting average while away from home with a meager .284 on base average and weak .374 slugging percentage. The .667 winning percentage has been pure luck as their opponents have been equally as bad (.218/.307/.351)

The Pirates

Nobody expected anything from this year's Pittsburgh Pirates. I even heard pre-season prognosticators calling them a garbage team. Time will tell, but early indications are that the Bucs are a young team that is hungry and motivated to prove the naysayers wrong.

Getting rid of Andrew McCutchen may have actually helped as he had seemingly lost motivation to play for the team. The pitching staff is young, but has much upside. Going into this season, many viewed today's starter, Trevor Williams as a gas can. This simply isn't true though. He's still a kid as he broke into the bigs when he was 22 and as any astute MLB handicapper knows, everybody takes their lumps, even hall of famers.

The 6'3" 230 lb. righty has looked stellar with a 1.56 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and .226 average against. It should be noted that 2 of his 3 starts were on the road as well.

While reading player news and notes, you'll see quite a bit of negativity from baseball writers stating that "last season" he had a 4.07 ERA over 150.1 innings and that he's "due for regression.". The key words there are "last season". Hell, it rained yesterday where I live and today's it's sunny. See my point? Yesterday or last season don't mean a hill of beans to either Williams' future performance or what the weather will be like from day to day.

I believe just the opposite is true. This kid is on his way to become a successful starter and I'm predicting he'll end the season with 15+ wins if he stays healthy. The kid was a 2nd round draft pick which shows that he has good stuff and the scouts knew he had upside. His numbers have gotten better. There's a lot to like here, especially with regards to stats. Williams is a heady pitcher that gets better with time. In 2015, his minor league ERA was 3.85. In 2016 he lowered it to 2.42.

Needing pitching in 2016, the Pirates rushed him to the bigs where he struggled with a 7.82 ERA. In 2016 he improved to 4.07. While there's no way he'll continue to have a 1.56 ERA, I'm confident that he'll be in the 3's this season and become a mainstay in the Pirates rotation. he doesn't need to be perfect, as PNC Park is always one of the lower scoring ballparks in baseball.

Perfect Weather?

Today's weather is forecasted to be cold in the high 30's. This shouldn't be a problem for Williams as all three of his earlier games this season were pitched in cold, crappy conditions. Furthermore, he likes to pitch in this ballpark as his 2017 numbers were 3.45 ERA/1.17 WHIP/.245 avg against.

The Word on Bettis

I faded this guy in his last start vs. the Washington Nationals and the guy made me look like a circus clown by pitching the game of his life. As a professional sports bettor, you have to have a short memory and toss out individual games and pay more attention to the big picture, which is Chad Bettis sucks on the road. In 2017 his road ERA was 8.40. In 2016 it was 5.06. Over the course of his career, he's given up more hits than innings pitched, more than 1 dinger per 10 innings and far less than one K per inning (166 k's in 218 innings). This guy didn't wake up one day and all of a sudden become a good road pitcher after having horrific away numbers for so many years.

More Thoughts

In baseball (or any sport for that matters), anything can happen. That's why they play the game. As a sports bettor, I'm only interested in what's going to happen most of the time. Can Pit lose today? YES. If this matchup were played 100 times under the same variables would Bettis lose to Williams. I believe so. That's how we think as winning handicappers. We play for the edge over the long haul. This way of thinking will keep YOU driving the Cadillac instead of your bookie. It's a conversation for another day, but it's also the reason you practice proper money management and never bet more than any other game because seriously, anything can happen on any given day.

Pitcher vs. Hitter Stats

Often times, I don't take these too seriously when the Rockies are on the road. Most of the historicals include half of the games being at Coors, so they're skewed. I will however note that Sterling Marte has a love affair with Bettis as he's gone 5-7 against him. Too small of a sample to take seriously but it's nice to see that one of the Pirate's best hitters has had some success. On the flip side, no Rockies hitter has seen Williams for more than 3 at bats over the course of their career. This works to our advantage as unfamiliarity is always a good thing when you're the pitcher.

Other Notes of Interest

- Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado will miss as he's still serving his suspension for charging the mound and whiffing at Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo.
- Pittsburgh is 10-3 vs. right handed starters this season.
Pitt rises to the occasion as they're 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Pittsburgh is getting on base a ton at home with a 350 OBP.
- The Pirates are averaging 5.4 runs in home games.
- Williams will need to go at least 6 because their Bullpen sucks.
- Join in the conversation and give YOUR take on this and all MLB games in our Interactive Posting Forum!

Kevin's Pick to get the money: Pittsburgh Pirates +140. Make your Pirates bet FOR FREE by taking advantage of a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook. Your credit card WILL work there! It's so easy!

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