Phillies vs. Rockies Odds & Picks: Expect Philadelphia to Pull Away Early
Kelly Gavin/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Schwarber
- The Phillies are strong favorites on the road tonight against the Rockies.
- Colorado has been one of the surprises early this season, but Philly has a pitching advantage tonight with Aaron Nola against Chad Kuhl.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Phillies vs. Rockies Odds
|Over/Under||11 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||8:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Colorado Rockies are off to a surprising 6-3 start after opening the season with a 69.5 win total projection. Colorado began the season with a series win against a Dodgers team with a payroll that’s $147 million higher. Thus far, our Betlabs database has Colorado as the most profitable team in the league at +4.26 units.
However, even with their hot start, the Rockies are as high as a +145 home underdog against the Phillies (4-6) on Monday night. I surmise the answer to that question is predominantly related to the different experiences Monday’s starters have had while pitching at Coors Field.
I’ll expand on that and much more as I explore where the value might lie in this matchup.
What Can Nola Provide Phillies At Coors?
Aaron Nola will get the start for Philadelphia as he seeks to bounce back from his previous outing, where he lasted only 3 1/3 innings after allowing three runs and three walks on 76 pitches.
Coincidentally, Nola threw the same amount of pitches in the Phillies’ season opener, but he managed to complete six innings by not allowing a walk in the game. Although the right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA, his 1.07 WHIP is still very encouraging. His 2.89 HR/9 ratio would be the highest of his career, but it’s still a minimal sample size.
As a result, it’s much more likely to expect Nola to have some positive regression given his 3.50 xERA and 3.48 xFIP. However, the advanced stat I’m particularly interested in is his 3.26 SIERA from the 2021 season. SIERA plays a crucial role in my modeling, particularly when it’s still early in the season.
I’m not as big on a starter’s home/away splits, but I always take notice when it comes to pitching at Coors Field. In three starts, Nola is 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. More importantly, Philadelphia picked up the victory in all three of those starts. Thus, while most pitchers generally dread their visits to Colorado, the Phillies’ ace seems to be coping just fine.
Despite the high rate of home runs allowed this season, Nola’s primarily been an effective ground ball pitcher, given his 1.55 GB/FB ratio throughout his career. That should bode well against a Rockies team that ranks third with a 1.52 GB/FB ratio.
Rockies’ Kuhl Could Run Into Trouble
Chad Kuhl joined the Rockies on a one-year deal valued at $3 million-plus performance bonuses. The right-hander slots into the backend of the rotation after going 5-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 2021 with the Pittsburgh.
In Kuhl’s first three years in the majors, the Pirates deployed him exclusively as a starter. However, he started just 23 of the 39 games in his remaining two seasons with the team.
The numbers suggest that Kuhl is probably as good as he will get, given his 4.82 xERA and 4.90 xFIP from last year. His 4.89 SIERA was also right in line with his traditional ERA.
Monday will be Kuhl’s second start of the year after allowing one run on 80 pitches in 4 1/3 innings against the Rangers. However, he was a bit fortunate in the outing considering the four walks he allowed.
Kuhl’s lack of command has been an issue outside of his first season. He has a 4.03 BB/9 ratio for his career, and in 2021, he finished with a 4.71 BB/9. In his previous start in Colorado, he lasted 4 1/3 innings after allowing three walks, five hits, and three earned runs.
Look for Kuhl to feature more of his sinker this season, mainly since most of his games will be at Coors Field. In his first start, he threw his four-seam fastball just 1.3% of the time compared to 24% in 2021.
While this decision certainly makes sense to keep the ball on the ground and avoid the fly balls that could leave the park in the thin air of Colorado, Kuhl’s sinker is 25.7 runs below average for his career, according to FanGraphs. That could be problematic against a Phillies team that ranks second against the sinker with an above-average mark of 4.6 runs.
Based on our findings, I think the Phillies are right side in this spot. Yet, I’m not running to the window to back them at -160. As a result, I’m likely to pass on this game because I don’t see this line coming back close to -140, which would be much more palatable for my risk tolerance.
However, if you’re looking to get involved in this game, I’d look to back the Phillies on the first five innings (F5) run line (RL). Given Kuhl’s performance at Coors Field and his propensity to walk batters, I think Philadelphia has a decent chance to get the better of him early in the game.
I recognize that it’s only a small sample size, but Kuhl is also 0-2 in the F5 RL at Coors Field. If I’m playing a favorite on an F5 RL, I generally like to look for a spread that’s no higher than a half-run. BetMGM has that option, and it’s available at -135.
Lean: Phillies F5 RL -0.5 (-135)