Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies Pick 8/6/18
Event: Pirates vs. Rockies
Date/Time: Aug 6, 2018 at 8:40 PM EDT
Location: Coors Field
Money Line: PIT +130/ COL -140
Total line: 11un -120
By Darin Zank
Two teams that are trying to stay close in the playoff races meet as the Pirates and Rockies begin a three-game series at Coors Field Monday night (8:40 ET). Which way are we playing this series opener with our daily free baseball predictions?
The MLB Betting Line
Monday’s MLB betting odds opened Colorado and Kyle Freeland at around -150 over Pittsburgh and Joe Musgrove, with an over/under of 11 runs. Early MLB betting action then dipped that line about a dime, to around -140.
The Rockies could also be found getting around +140 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
The Pirates just dropped two of three games at home to St. Louis over the weekend, losing Sunday’s series rubber match 2-1. So following a hot run, Pittsburgh is 0-1-2 over its last three series and 4-6 over its last 10 games.
At 57-55 overall the Pirates trail the first-place Cubs by 7.5 games in the NL Central, and they’re only five games behind Atlanta in the battle for the second National League wild-card spot.
Colorado, meanwhile, just dropped two of three games in Milwaukee over the weekend, avoiding the sweep with a 5-4 extra-inning victory Sunday. The Rockies led that game 4-1 into the bottom of the ninth, saw the bullpen blow a second save opportunity in the series, but won it on a Nolan Arenado homer in the top of the 11th.
So Colorado is 0-2 in its last two series and 2-5 over its last seven games.
At 59-52 the Rockies are only two games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West, and 2.5 games back of the Braves in that NL wild-card scrum.
In the only previous encounter between these teams, this season Colorado took two of three games from Pittsburgh at PNC Park back in April.
Monday’s Mound Match-Up
Lefty Freeland (9-7, 3.20), by our strict standards, is 11/24 on quality starts this season and only one for his last five. But some of that has to do with a short leash. Last Wednesday he gave up three runs on nine hits and three walks through 5 1/3 innings against St. Louis, and over his last nine starts he’s allowed 15 runs through 53 2/3 innings (2.51 ERA). On the season the Rockies are 13-9 with Freeland, with the unders going 16-6.
In three career starts against the Pirates, all taking place since June of last season, Freeland allowed 11 earned runs and 21 hits through 15 2/3 innings. Colorado went 1-2 in those games, with the overs going 2-0-1.
Musgrove (4-5, 3.63) is 6/11 on quality starts, and two for his last two. Eight days ago he held the Mets to one run and five hits through seven innings, and just before that he held Cleveland to two runs and five hits through seven frames. On the year Pittsburgh is 5-6 with Musgrove, with the overs going 6-4.
This will be Musgrove’s first-ever start against Colorado, which might give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
We’re giving Freeland a short edge in this pitching match-up.
Monday’s Batting Splits
The Pirates rank 18th in the Majors this year against left-handed pitching with a .246 team batting average, 16th with a .320 team OBP and 15th with a .411 team slugging percentage.
The Rockies rank 20th against right-handed pitching with a .245 BA, 22nd with a .312 OBP and 12th with a .417 slugging percentage.
We’re calling the battle with the sticks a wash for Monday.
The Pittsburgh bullpen ranks 19th in the ML with a 4.22 ERA and 23rd with a 1.42 WHIP.
The Colorado pen ranks 29th in ERA at 5.20 and 26th in WHIP at 1.45.
We’ll give the Pirates a short edge in the comparison of the bullpens.
The unders are 29-20 in games played at Coors Field this year, even though Rockies home games are averaging a healthy 10.8 total runs per, second-most among all ML ballparks.
Free MLB Picks
The Pirates are just 13-18 against LH starters this season, while Colorado is 34-33 against RH starters. And the Rockies have been good with Freeland. Hopefully, the Colorado bullpen won’t have to get too involved in this game. We’re going with the Rockies here at 5Dimes who are offering the best line on this game (Col -135).