Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview and Pick

Colorado Rockies (4-5) Jeff Francis +135, 8 O/U at Arizona
Diamondbacks (7-2) Brandon Webb -145, 8 O/U, Chase Field, 9:40 PM
EST, Friday

by Badger of

The Arizona Diamondbacks, perhaps the hottest team in Major League
Baseball right now, put their six-game winning streak on the line
when they welcome last years National League Champion Colorado
Rockies to Chase Field Friday night for the start of a three-game

After sweeping the Rockies at Coors Field last weekend, the
Diamondbacks continued their winning ways by sweeping the Los Angeles
Dodgers in the first series at home this year. The D-Backs notched
the sweep with a 4-3 victory on Wednesday, a game where the young
lineup knocked out 11 hits to give starting pitcher Micah Owings (7
IP, 7 H, 3 R) his second win of the season.

For the series, the D-Backs outscored the Dodgers 23 runs to 11 runs and together as a group are hitting .321 with 43 runs and 12 homeruns
during the six-game streak.

The Rockies were snowed out (yes, snow) of their series finale with
Atlanta on Thursday, so they will come into the game with a three-
game win streak too. After scoring a total of just 11 runs through
their first five games at home this season, the Rockies unloaded for
12 runs on 13 hits in a 12-6 victory over the Braves on Wednesday.

Tonights game will also feature a rematch of last Saturdays game between these two teams, as both teams send their ace to the bump
when Brandon Webb faces off against Jeff Francis. Incidentally, Webb
and the D-Backs spanked the Rockies last Saturday, 7-2.

Most sportsbooks opened the game with Arizona as an early
-145 favorite on the moneyline, while Colorado was listed as a +135
underdog. The over/under total opened at 8.

The Diamondbacks have been playing inspired baseball since losing three out of four games in Cincinnati to start the season. For three
days straight the young D-Backs were forced to watch the Rockies open
the season with fireworks (before game one), unveil the NL
Championship banner (before game two) and then hand out championship
rings (before game three), some would argue the Rockies rubbed their
noses in it. Arizona responded by outscoring the Rockies 20-5 to
sweep them and set an early tone for the newest NL rivalry.

Colorado has played better baseball of late thanks in part to outfielder Matt Holliday finally shaking his early season slump.
After starting the year 1-for-14, Holliday has since come back into
form with a .429 average, 2 HRs and 5 RBI in his last five games.

Holliday and veteran Todd Helton should give the Rockies their best chance versus Webb tonight. Helton hit a homerun last Saturday off of
Webb, and has hit .302 with 3 HRs and 4 2Bs in his 53 career at-bats
versus Webb.

In interesting note to watch in tonights game is how the Webb-
Francis pitching matchup plays out. It should be interesting because
their numbers at Chase Field are opposite of what you might expect.
Webb has struggled in the past with the Rockies at Chase (0-2, 6.00
ERA), while Francis has enjoyed the dry desert air (4-0, 3.24 at
Chase lifetime).

Those numbers also fly in the face of what each pitcher has
accomplished this season. Webb is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA so far and was
stellar against the Rockies last time out (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 5 K),
while Francis struggled in his only start of the year so far last
Saturday versus the D-Backs, getting tagged for 12 hits, 3 homeruns
and five runs in the loss.

These two teams have been opposites for bettors so far this season,
with Arizona making money (+4.38 units overall, 7-1 on the runline
for +6.95 units) while Colorado has been a loser (-1.58, 2-7 RL for
-6.87). Another betting trend to note is the D-Backs strong 14-4
record in their last 18 games at Chase Field, and the fact that they
have come in under the total in six of the last eight games head-to-

Badgers Pick: I like tonights matchup of Webb-Francis versus the
two offenses. Francis will enjoy being away from the thin air of
Coors Field, while Webb will continue to dominate the Rockies lineup
with his heavy sinker. Take the under of 8.