Giants vs. Rockies MLB Odds, Picks, Preview: The Moneyline Bet To Make For Monday’s Game
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Freeland.
- The National League-leading Giants makes the trip to Coors Field on Monday to play the Rockies.
- San Francisco is deep in a divisional battle for first in the NL West and sends its top pitcher to the mound.
- MLB betting analyst Tanner McGrath, however, explains below why the Giants may be overvalued against the Rockies.
Giants vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
The Giants are locked into the most competitive – and entertaining – divisional battle in baseball currently. They picked up an important win Sunday against the Dodgers and currently are hanging on to a one-game lead in the NL West.
While it may seem like a relief to play the 63-74 Rockies, it’s more of a curse when you’re playing in Denver. The Rockies’ 45-24 home record this season is better than every team except for the Dodgers and Giants.
Luckily, the Giants have their ace on the mound, while the Rockies are rolling with one of their back-end starters.
But the Rockies could still pose value as home underdogs in this situation. Let’s dive in and find the best betting angle for this Labor Day matchup.
Giants Offense Has Hit A Slump
I do not envy Giants fans right now.
Although they’ve been the best team in baseball all season, and perhaps the most overachieving team we’ve ever seen, they’ve lost six of their last 10 games and are battling the stacked Dodgers.
Recently, the offense has been a concern. Specifically, on the road, where they’ve posted MLB’s 24th-ranked wRC+ over the past 30 days. During that stretch, the Giants lineup is batting just .217 with a .685 OPS.
But the Giants play team baseball, and when the offense is down, the pitching staff lifts them up. Over the past month, the Giants pitching staff ranks second in MLB in FIP (3.28), xFIP (3.92) and WHIP (1.15).
While San Francisco’s relievers have been dynamite, they’ve also pitched the most innings of any MLB bullpen over the past week (37 1/3 innings). Plus, the Giants have relied on their relievers for a whopping 15 2/3 innings over the past three games.
Luckily, today’s starter has been dynamite for the Giants this season, and perhaps he can reset the bullpen today.
Starting pitcher: Kevin Gausman (RHP)
While he’s been a Cy Young candidate all season, recent starts have shown that Gasuman is indeed human.
Gausman has posted a 4.58 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP over his past eight starts, and the Giants have finished just 4-4 in those games. However, his .357 BABIP and 3.45 xFIP show he’s been slightly unlucky during those outings.
He had one big blowup during the stretch, where Gausman allowed six earned runs over just 4 1/3 innings against the Pirates back on July 24. Since that blowup, he’s been slightly better, even striking out over 11 batters per nine innings.
Gausman’s incredible season has been built on a four-seam and split-finger fastball, two pitches which have complemented each other while dazzling hitters. However, the four-seam has seen a steady decrease in efficiency since the start of the season:
Given he throws the pitch more than half the time, Gausman’s numbers have gone up across the board. However, his splitter is still seeing just as much success, as he’s yet to allow a wOBA over .200 on the pitch in any month this season.
Rockies Continue Home-Field Advantage Trend
It’s been the same old story for the Rockies this season: They’re good at home and bad on the road.
Over the past 30 days, the Rockies have posted the sixth-highest home wRC+ (126) while posting the fourth-lowest road wRC+ (72). While it is at the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field, the Rockies lineup has posted a whopping .958 OPS at home over the past month.
Let’s talk about C.J. Cron, who has been absolutely crushing the ball. Over the past 30 days, Cron has posted the highest OPS of any qualified major league hitter (1.264), and he has posted a park-adjusted 209 wRC+.
Since August started, Cron is batting almost .400 and has smacked 12 home runs in a 29-game stretch. He’s raised his OPS from .790 to .914 during the stretch, as his OPS+ now stands at 132.
A key to the Rockies success has been the pitching staff, which has miraculously figured out run prevention at the highest-scoring park in the league. Here are the home/road splits for the Rockies top starting pitchers:
|Rockies Pitcher||Home ERA||Road ERA|
However, that trend hasn’t translated for today’s starter:
Starting pitcher: Kyle Freeland (LHP)
For some reason, Freeland hasn’t followed the rest of the Rockies staff. He’s posted a 4.04 road ERA this season while posting a 4.43 home ERA.
Overall, however, Freeland has just been overwhelmingly average. He averages five innings per start with a 4.10 xERA and 4.17 xFIP.
However, he’s been slightly better recently. The southpaw has posted a 3.60 ERA in five starts since August started, and he’s allowed just a .655 OPS during that streak. More impressive, however, is that the Rockies have won all five of those starts.
Freeland has a four-seam and slider combination that represents about half of all his pitches thrown, but he mixes in a changeup, curveball and sinker as well. It’s quite remarkable how even his five-pitch mix has been:
His curveball has been his most effective pitch. It doesn’t move a whole lot, but perhaps the change of pace has messed with opponents’ timing. Freeland’s allowed just a .093 BA and a .132 wOBA to opposing hitters on curveballs this season.
I think the Rockies are live dogs in this spot.
Over the past month, the offensive numbers for the Rockies at home (.401 wOBA) are much better than the numbers for the Giants on the road (.295 wOBA). Meanwhile, Freeland and Gausman have been very similar pitchers since August started (Freeland 3.10 xFIP in six starts since August 1; Gausman 3.26 xFIP in six starts since August 1).
All-in-all, it seems like the Giants are overvalued at the -170 number. I’m going to back the third-best home team in baseball here, and I will be taking the Rockies at anything better than the +150 being offered on DraftKings.
Pick: Rockies ML (Anything above +150)