Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies Preview and Pick – Edwin Jackson vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

Arizona Diamondbacks (9-10) Edwin Jackson, at Colorado Rockies
(10-10) Ubaldo Jimenez, Coors Field, Denver, Colo., 8:40 PM EST,
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

by Badger of

Betting Line: D-Backs +190/Rockies -200
Total: 8.5

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies resume their three-
game National League West showdown Tuesday in Denver with another
solid pitchers duel on the horizon when the D-Backs Edwin Jackson and Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez trot out to the bump.

Arizona won game one of the series last night, 5-3, behind an eight-
inning gem from starter Dan Haren, who scattered five hits and
allowed two runs. The D-Backs jumped on Rockies starter Jason Hammel
for all five runs in the first two innings, and Chad Qualls gave up a
run but still shut the door in the ninth inning to give the D-Backs
the win in the first head-to-head matchup of these two NL West rivals
in 2010.

Jimenez will headline the Tuesday night showdown, as he followed his
no-hitter against the Braves with a 5-hit shutout over seven and a
third innings against Washington last Thursday to move to a perfect
4-0 this young season.

Because of Jimenez and his early brilliance on the mound the oddsmaker out in Las Vegas have been forced to lay gigantic -200 odds on him for a moneyline bet, with some offshore sportsbooks as
high as -210 for Jimenez and the Rockies tonight.

If you bet with a sportsbook that offers reduced juice or a dimeline,
then you can find Jackson and the D-Backs as attractive +190
underdogs on the moneyline, but the other books will likely cut you
off at +175 or +180 for the D-Backs tonight.

The over/under total opened overnight at 8.5 and hasnt moved in
either direction at most books. The folks at 5Dimes are the only book
currently listing 7.5 as the total, but the over comes with large
-150 juice attached.

Im assuming youre not reading this preview to have me tell you how great Jimenez has been this season. With a high-90s fastball that
moves from one side of the plate to the other, Jimenez has the kind
of filthy stuff that hitters simply cannot get good wood on
consistently and his stats prove that point (20 H, 3 R in 28.1 IP).

The only worry with Jimenez is that he cant control his electric
fastball, as he had six walks in his no-no versus the Braves and can
often get pinched at times by umpires with tight strike zones, but
tonights home plate ump Jim Joyce is known for being more of a
pitchers ump.

Jimenez pitched against the D-Backs four times last year, going 2-2 when he lost two of his three duels with Haren. But as you would
expect, he was nasty on the free-swinging D-Backs who have a higher
on-base percentage (.287) against him than they have slugging
percentage (.284).

Jackson has been erratic at best this season, with only one quality start in his four outings. More importantly, the D-Backs are just 1-3
in his starts because of it, and the lone win was a lopsided 15-6
victory over Pittsburgh where his offense removed any doubt early.

Overall his numbers are respectable this season (.321 OBP, 1.23
WHIP), but you have to wonder why Jackson has had such a hard time in
his career against the Rockies. In four starts (14 IP, 24 H, 23 R) he
has basically thrown batting practice to the Rockies hitters, with a
2.302 WHIP, a .447 OBP and a 1.094 OPS.

Jacksons two starts at Coors might be the reason why, as the numbers in the higher altitude are nearly identical to the ones I just noted (1.966, .413, .963).

Last nights D-Back win did snap a four-game losing streak at Coors
Field, but overall they went 3-6 in Denver last season.

The over/under bet didnt offer any betting trends, as it finished
dead even at 4-4 with one game off the board with no result. The
under is a perfect 8-0 in Jimenezs last eight starts against the D-

Badgers Pick: Unless you have the bankroll to absorb a 2-to-1 hit should Jimenez be wild, I cant advise laying the huge wood to take
him at -200. The safe bet would appear to be the under of 8.5, but I think the
Rockies can get to that number on their own so Im bucking the trend
and taking the over of 8.5 tonight.