Pick: Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies 7/25/18
Event: Astros vs. Rockies
Date/Time: July 25, 2018 at 8:40 PM EDT
Location: Coors Field
Money Line: HOU -118 / COL +108
Total line: 10un -115
By Darin Zank
The champion Astros continue a quick two-game series with the surging Rockies in Denver Wednesday night (8:40 ET). How are we playing this contest with our daily free MLB picks?
The MLB Betting Line
Wednesday’s MLB betting odds opened Houston and Charlie Morton at around -125 over Colorado and Jon Gray, with an over/under of 10 runs. The early betting action then pushed that line down about a nickel, to the -120 range.
The Astros could also be found getting +135 giving the run and a half on the run line. Best Line: Houston -118 at 5Dimes.
Houston grabbed the opener of this series Tuesday night 8-2 in 10 innings. The Astros scored twice in the top of the first inning Tuesday, allowed Colorado to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh, then exploded for a six-spot in the top of the tenth for the victory. Houston won as a -135 favorite on the MLB betting line and covered against the run line at a price of +110.
With the win, the Astros are 3-1 since the All-Star break and 5-2 over their last seven games. At 67-36 overall Houston leads the AL West by six games over second-place Seattle, but trails Boston by four games in the battle for the best record in the American League.
Even with the loss, the Rockies are 12-4 over their last 16 games. At 53-47 Colorado trails the first-place Dodgers by just 2.5 games in the NL West and sits only two games back of Atlanta and Arizona in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.
This series is the first encounter between these former division rivals since 2015.
On the personnel front, Houston is playing without SS Carlos Correa, while Colorado is without 2B DJ LeMahieu.
Wednesday’s Starting Arms
Gray (8-7, 5.44), by our stringent accounting, is just 6/18 on quality starts this season. Most recently, 11 days ago, he held Seattle to one run and five hits through 7 1/3 innings of a 4-1 Rockies victory. But he’s also allowed at least four runs seven of his last 10 times out. On the season Colorado is 9-9 with Gray, with the overs going 10-6.
This will be Gray’s first-ever start against the Astros, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Morton (11-2, 2.96) is 11/19 on quality starts this year, but 0 for his last two. Most recently, 13 days ago, he gave up three runs and six hits through 4 1/3 innings of a 6-4 loss to Oakland, and just before that he gave up five runs through 5 2/3 innings against the White Sox. However, previous to that he ran off a run of four straight QS. On the season Houston is 12-7 with Morton, with the unders going 10-9.
This will be Morton’s first start against the Rockies since 2015 when he was with Pittsburgh. And that’s a long time ago.
We’re giving the Astros and Morton our baseball handicapping check-mark in this pitching match-up.
Wednesday’s Batting Splits
Houston ranks 5th in the Majors this year against right-handed pitching with a .256 team batting average, 5th with a .332 team OBP and 7th with a .426 team slugging percentage.
Colorado ranks 18th against RHP with a .247 BA, 23rd with a .312 OBP and 12th with a .421 slugging percentage.
We’ll give the Astros our check-mark with the sticks for Wednesday.
The Houston bullpen ranks 2nd in the ML with a 2.92 ERA and No. 1 with a 1.04 WHIP, while going 25/37 on save opportunities.
The Rockies pen ranks 29th in ERA at 5.29 and 27th in WHIP at 1.47 while going 32/49 on save conversions. And closer Wade Davis got knocked around for five runs in the 10th inning last night.
We also must give the Astros the advantage in the bullpen comparison.
The unders are 25-20 in games played at Coors Field this year, even though they’re averaging 11.3 total runs per, most among all ML ballparks. Obviously, Colorado home games face some high totals on a regular basis.
Free MLB Picks
Houston is 44-20 against RH starters this year, Colorado 31-28. The Astros are also an ML-best 35-15 on the road this season, while the Rockies are just 23-24 at home. We’re betting Houston here, and we’ll chase the better price with the road favorite against the run line.