Sunday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Phillies vs. Rockies: Why Colorado Has Value at Coors Field (April 25)
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Gray.
- Philadelphia needed a pair of home runs by Rhys Hoskins on Saturday to fuel a Philles 7-5 victory over Colorado.
- The Rockies send Jon Gray to the mound Sunday, who has surprisingly better splits at Coors Field than anywhere else.
- See why Michael Arinze thinks that trend will continue.
Phillies vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||Sunday, 3:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet.|
The Philadelphia Phillies needed a big performance by their first baseman, Rhys Hoskins, to get by the Rockies on Saturday night. Hoskins hit two home runs and knocked in five runs in Philadelphia’s 7-5 win. Road victories have been a rare feat for this Phillies team that has won two of eight games away from home.
Philadelphia will send Chase Anderson to the mound for the series finale. Anderson has yet to be on the right side of a decision, while the Phillies would likely settle for their first win in one of his outings. Opposing Anderson will be Jon Gray for Colorado. Gray is off to a 2-1 start this season, but the biggest takeaway is how he’s fared in his home park in Colorado.
There’s no question that Coors Field is more advantageous to hitters, but Gray’s success might be the result of a recent adjustment he’s made to one of his pitches.
Chase Anderson will make his fourth start of the season Sunday. He’s lost both his decisions and carries a 4.15 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. While there isn’t too much that’s alarming about those numbers, a closer look reveals that Anderson has yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning in either of his starts. On two occasions, he only managed to last four innings.
There are clearly some warning signs to consider with Anderson: He has a 3.46 BB/9 ratio, and his 6.02 FIP, which’s higher than his ERA, makes him a candidate for even further regression down the road.
Anderson also isn’t regarded as a power pitcher considering his 7.62 strikeouts per nine innings. The right-hander is more of a fly-ball pitcher than anything else, as 40.3 percent of his batted balls are hit in the air. He has an HR/FB rate of 21.4 percent, and he’s yet to have an outing this season where he didn’t allow a home run.
That’s not necessarily a good sign for visiting pitchers in the high altitude and thin air Colorado.
Pitching in Colorado isn’t something that appears to have bothered Jon Gray much. While other pitchers may look forward to their starts away from the hitter-friendly Coors Field, Gray has done his best work pitching at home. He’s 47-38 (55.3%) in his career but 28-13 (68.3%) at home compared to 19-25 (43.2%) on the road.
Gray is one pitcher who can’t say they would have better numbers if they didn’t pitch in Colorado. In fact, I think it’s become a part of a psychological advantage for him when he pitches there.
This year, Gray has been exceptional at home. In three starts at Coors Field, he’s allowed a total of just three earned runs. He’s yet to lose a decision there as he’s 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in Colorado. His 2.61 FIP is higher than his ERA, but it’s still more than respectable for Coors Field. It’s almost mindblowing to see that hitters are batting just .154 against him at home.
One reason for Gray’s success has to be his slider. It’s his second-most thrown pitch at 38.6 percent, but this year, his spin rate (2398) is the highest of his career when throwing the pitch, and his 33.2 inches of vertical movement is also the highest in his career since Baseball Savant started tracking it in 2016.
Perhaps Gray has picked up on something with the new baseballs MLB implemented to use to his advantage. Opposing hitters have a 37.3% whiff rate against the slider, which could prove effective against a Phillies team that’s below average this season when facing the pitch.
Jon Gray has no qualms about pitching in Colorado, and after going behind the numbers, we know the data supports that. Colorado is 3-1 with him on the mound against Philadelphia, while Anderson’s teams are 1-3 in his last four starts at Coors Field.
I think this is a tough spot for the Phillies right-hander, who has never been a ground ball pitcher at any point in his career (0.94 GB/FB). Whereas Gray has proven he can neutralize opposing hitters with his slider, and his 1.47 GB/FB ratio is more suitable to pitching in the thin air of Colorado.
I’d expect Colorado’s hitters to have success against Anderson as they’re in the top half of the league in home runs (25) and fourth in ISO (.185), while Philadelphia is 20th in ISO (.149) and 22nd in home runs.
The Rockies look undervalued in this spot, and my model agrees with that assessment. DraftKings is offering the Rockies at -109, so I’ll look to back Gray at home to lock up the series win.
Pick: Rockies ML (-109)