Rockies vs. Dodgers Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Friday, August 21)
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Gray (55) and Tony Wolters (14).
- Check out our MLB betting preview for Friday night's matchup between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Betting against LA is a tough sell right now, but analyst BJ Cunningham explains why he believe the Rockies can cover their +1.5 first five-inning run line.
- Read on for his full MLB betting guide, including odds, picks and projections for tonight's game.
Rockies vs. Dodgers Odds
|Rockies Odds||+210 [Bet Now]|
|Dodgers Odds||-238 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||9 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||9:40 p.m. ET|
It’s crazy how quickly the Rockies’ season has got away from them. Last week, they were in first place in the NL West, but after six losses in their last seven games, they are now in fourth place and 4.5 games back of LA in the division.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, have found their groove and look like the best team in baseball. They’ll be heavy favorites once again as they send their young phenom Walker Buehler to the mound against Colorado on Friday night.
Check out our free MLB odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Rockies Projected Lineup
The Rockies offense has been fairly average, with a .321 wOBA and 87 wRC+. They’ve been in a major slump over the past week, hitting only .210 with a .250 wOBA. The Rockies need their offense to be producing at a high level if they want to go anywhere this year, because their starting pitching and bullpen certainly aren’t going to help them. Colorado needs to find a way out of this slump quickly or its season could be over.
Rockies Projected Starter
Jon Gray, RHP
Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Jon Gray hasn’t been great so far. His xFIP is all the way up to 5.07, which is really high for a guy who hasn’t had an xFIP over 4.00 in his entire career.
Gray primarily utilizes a two-pitch combination of fastball-slider with a few other pitches sprinkled in. His fastball was an issue las season, allowing a .405 wOBA to opponents; but its been solid this year, only allowing a .277 wOBA.
Gray has an electric slider that has produced a 48.2% whiff rate over his first five starts. He uses it primarily as his put-away pitch: 91 of his 150 strikeouts last season came off that slider. As you can see below, it has a ton of velocity with some fantastic late breaking action.
Gray has the talent and stuff to hold this Dodgers lineup in check. He just needs to pitch up to his potential.
Dodgers Projected Lineup
The Dodgers have found their groove offensively, and the rest of the NL should be worried. Los Angeles leads MLB with 49 home runs and 141 RBIs, with 19 of those homers and 48 of those RBIs coming just in the last week.
Mookie Betts has been on fire over his last seven games, hitting five home runs, driving in 11 runs, and accumulating a .540 wOBA.
LA has done most of its damage against fastballs, but the Dodgers have struggled against sliders (-2.4 weighted slider runs). So, look for Gray to utilize his slider more often on Friday night.
Dodgers Projected Starter
Walker Buehler, RHP
Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Buehler is on his way to being a top-five starting pitcher.
He has a full arsenal of nasty stuff. His fastball can top out at around 100 mph, and he knows how to use effectively. In 2019, his fastball produced a 24.6% whiff rate and 103 strikeouts.
His slider, though, is by far his best pitch. Last season, opposing hitters averaged only a .239 wOBA against it.
However, Buehler has struggled so far in 2020, accumulating a 5.31 xFIP. He’s having some issue with his control as his BB/9 rate has risen to 4.86 and his HR/9 rate is at 2.37. It is a small sample size of only 19 innings, but it is something to keep an eye on.
His biggest issue has been his secondary pitches. He’s hung one too many curveballs, allowing three home runs on only 50 pitches. Compare that to last season when he only allowed one home run on his curveball in 340 pitches.
The Rockies have been struggling over the past week, so they may be just the thing Buehler needs to get his season back on track.
The Dodgers bullpen has been as good as advertised, with a collective 3.87 xFIP. The Rockies pen has been a disaster so far, with a 4.55 xFIP, which ranks 19th in MLB. LA will have the advantage in the bullpen department this series.
Projections and Pick
Despite everything I just wrote, I think the Dodgers are overpriced on Friday. Gray has the talent to hold this Dodgers lineup in check, and the top of Rockies lineup is one of the best in the NL. Betting against the Dodgers is like walking into a buzz saw right now, but I can’t ignore the value on the Rockies.
I also want to avoid the bullpen mismatch at all costs, so I am going to bet the Rockies’ first five innings run line of +1.5 at -143 (DraftKings). I would play it up to -154.
Pick: Rockies first five innings run line +1.5 (-143)