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Dodgers vs. Rockies MLB Odds & Picks: Colorado Has Value With Likely Short Night for Walker Buehler (Saturday, April 3)

Dodgers vs. Rockies MLB Odds & Picks: Colorado Has Value With Likely Short Night for Walker Buehler (Saturday, April 3) article feature image

Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies.

  • The Dodgers are heavy favorites to repeat as World Series champions, but even the best lose often in baseball.
  • The Rockies are in a rebuild, but have enough hitters to do damage in Coors Field.
  • Kevin Davis explains why he's backing Colorado on Saturday.

Dodgers vs. Rockies Odds

Dodgers Odds -240
Rockies Odds +190
Over/Under 11.5
Time Saturday, 8:10 p.m. ET
TV Fox Sports 1
Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet

On Saturday night, the Colorado Rockies host the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are one of the best teams in the league, and the Rockies are one of the worst. Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers are heavy favorites as reflected by the -240 moneyline odds.

In my preseason MLB model, I projected that the Dodgers were going to go 12.6-6.4 against the Rockies for a winning percentage of 66%. The breakeven odds on the Dodgers for Saturday are 71%, so for the Dodgers to be a good bet they need to play better than usual. My model believes that there is value on the Rockies due to the variance of a 162-game season. That is why I like the Rockies.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

The reason why the Dodgers are the best team in the league is because they have an arsenal of strong pitching talent and a loaded lineup. For Saturday night, their pitching is no exception to the rule as Walker Buehler will be on the mound for LA.

Last season Buehler did not get much action, pitching for only eight starts and 36.2 innings overall. On average Buehler averaged only 4.58 innings per start, much less than the 6.08 innings per start he averaged in 2019. Buehler on an inning-per-inning basis is projected to perform better than teammate Trevor Bauer this season, but the question is will he pitch enough innings to help the Dodgers this season?

Currently I project the Dodgers bullpen to have an xFIP of 4.22 which would be the sixth best in the league. However, the bullpen is a significant drop off from Buehler, since I project Buehler to have an xFIP of 3.65. Buehler is a strong pitcher, but the betting odds do not accurately reflect his likely usage for Saturday’s game.

Colorado Rockies

Even though the Rockies are a rebuilding team, they have a plausible chance of winning based on their lineup. Colorado’s lineup contains a pitcher, two average offensive players, three below average offensive players and two exceptionally strong offensive players. The Rockies’ lineup on a neutral field as constructed for Saturday should produce 10% fewer runs than the average MLB team, but their two strong offensive players who bat second and third in the lineup are guaranteed to make things interesting.

The second slot in the Rockies’ lineup is occupied by shortstop Trevor Story who is regarded as the third-best offensive shortstop in the game. Even when you account for Coors Field being the most favorable hitters park in the league, Story is still projected by my model to produce 25% more runs than the average offensive player this season. In addition to Story, the third slot in the Rockies’ lineup is occupied by Charlie Blackmon who is quietly one of the elite offensive outfielders in the league.

As far as Colorado’s pitching is concerned, it certainly is a weakness but not as glaring as it looks on paper. The starting pitcher for Saturday’s game, Jon Gray, may be a below average starting pitcher, but he is slightly better than the average Rockies starter. That is why I would not be more worried about betting on Colorado on Saturday than I would for any other game.

Dodgers-Rockies Pick

The Rockies should not be written off just because they are a rebuilding team playing the best team in baseball. Even the 1961 Mets managed to win 40 games, and Colorado will occasionally win or at least keep games close.

The Dodgers’ pitching is vulnerable to the Rockies for many reasons. Coors Field is the most hitter-friendly ballpark, Walker Buehler is not likely to pitch for many innings, and a combination of Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story can produce runs.

According to my model, the Rockies have a 34% chance of winning for a +2.2% edge on the +215 moneyline. However, when I simulated the game 10,000 times, the Rockies covered the +1.5 run line 48% of the time for a +7.2% edge. That is why I recommend the Rockies run line over the moneyline. Additionally, I will be on the lookout for +2.5 Rockies run lines that might be offered by competing books. According to my model, a +2.5 COL moneyline at -115 is just as valuable as the current +1.5 COL run line.

Pick: Colorado Rockies Run Line +1.5 (+145); would play up to +115.

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