Locky’s Astros-Rockies Preview: Why Coors Field Doesn’t Worry Me

Jul 25, 2018 11:14 AM EDT

Betting Odds: Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies

  • Astros: Charlie Morton (-122)
  • Rockies: Jon Gray (+111)
  • Over/under: 10u-120
  • First pitch: 8:40 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets


Coors Field is one of my favorite places in baseball. Sometimes it seems like playing baseball on the moon, despite what that would actually look like if we played baseball on the moon (probably not as funny and romantic as it does in my head right now). Sometimes games are 19-17, sometimes there’s crazy weather and it hails for six hours, or there’s snow in April, or whatever.

It’s just this wild card of a venue (Wednesday night is no different, as there’s a pretty good chance of thunderstorms for a couple hours). And it’s true, there are high-scoring games at Coors Field — there are more runs scored there than in other ballparks. But sometimes I think recreational bettors forget that we all know that. ALL of us.

The concept of something being “baked into the line” is that this is such publicly known information, the numbers already reflect the fact. Knowing that “there are a lot of runs at Coors Field” gives you an advantage over exactly nobody. Still, it can be hard to pull the trigger on an under there, almost as if it goes against what your gut has been telling you your whole life.

Well, buckle up, because I’m taking an under Wednesday night there.


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Gray, Colorado’s starter, has had a roller coaster of a season. This guy was the ace of the staff, and sent to the minors, in the same season. That doesn’t happen all the time. And the assignment was potentially justified — Gray had an ERA over five and consistently couldn’t pitch deep into games. His return in his last start was at least a sign things were possibly getting better — one earned run in 7.1 IP against Seattle, with very few hard-hit balls.

Before you worry that Coors Field could somehow affect him negatively when he’s attempting to regain form, his splits for the last two years actually tell you the opposite, and he’s succeeded at Coors Field much more than at other ballparks. His metrics also reveal that although he’s been hit very hard, he has been pretty unlucky as well (BABIP way above average, xFIP under three). Yes, he is facing a crazy-good offense that can score a lot, and this can go sideways, but I like getting Gray on potentially an upward trajectory and while expectations are still quite low.

Morton, Houston’s starter, got some much needed time off during the All-Star break, as he had started to look a little shaky in his final two starts. All of his numbers don’t point to anything particularly lucky or irregular about his dominance in baseball’s first half; maybe he’s really just a journeyman who caught on with a team and managed to improve his velocity to the point of being truly effective. Yes, he is a fly-ball pitcher at Coors Field (again, this number is 10 for some good reasons), but at least I get a low temperature and wind blowing in as factors in my favor to try to help offset that.

Unders at Coors Field aren’t really the types of bets you love to watch — same with Overs for the Golden State Warriors, or anyone ATS against the Patriots the last few years — but I think I have a small edge with these pitchers at this number, and we’ll see how it goes.

The bet: Under 10


Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Peter G. Aiken, USA Today Sports Pictured: Houston Astros starting pitcher Charlie Morton

Follow Ken Barkley on Twitter
@LockyLockerson
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