Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies Odds, Pick, Prediction: A Coors Field Under?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images. Pictured: German Marquez
- The Colorado Rockies host the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, looking to build on a strong start to the season.
- Anthony Dabbundo believes both starting pitchers have an edge in this matchup, and is taking the first five inning total.
- Get his full Rockies vs. Phillies preview and pick below.
Phillies vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||3:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Colorado Rockies came from behind against the Philadelphia Phillies to win the second game of their three-game series on Tuesday night in Denver. C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to put the Rockies up 6-4 and for good in an eventual 6-5 victory. The Rockies are now looking for the sweep at home as ace Gérman Marquez takes the ball against Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin.
The Phillies have really struggled to begin the 2022 season with a 4-8 record. Since starting 3-1, the Phillies have dropped seven of eight and have lost five of six on this current road trip that included a trip to Miami before Denver. The starting pitching faltered in Miami, the bats were silent on Monday night, and on Tuesday, the bullpen blew its first game of the season.
While Philadelphia has underperformed expectations, Colorado has overachieved this season to this point. A series win against the Dodgers, a two-game sweep in Texas, and now two home wins against Philadelphia have them 8-3 and tied for first in the National League West with the Dodgers.
Will Eflin Bounce Back for the Phillies?
Philadelphia’s starting pitching entered the Colorado series sixth-worst in all of baseball, but its starters haven’t been the problem in the series. Eflin takes the ball on Wednesday, and he’s had mixed results in 2022. He had a pretty limited spring training and was limited to four innings in his debut on opening weekend. He was pretty sharp and limited Oakland to just two hits and weak contact in those innings.
But the Marlins hit him quite hard in his last start. Eflin only pitched four innings — but not by choice — as he allowed six hits and four runs. Eflin is a classic pitch-to-contact pitcher who doesn’t rely on strikeouts to produce outs but consistently manages to avoid barrels and thus still has good underlying numbers.
He’s produced an xERA below 4.11 in each of the last four seasons and has had an FIP under 3.80 in three of those four years. He’s a pitcher who, if he pitched in front of a good defense instead of one of the league’s worst in Philadelphia, could be one of the most undervalued pitchers in all of baseball.
I find Eflin to be pretty underrated in the market when he’s staying away from the middle of the plate. There was nothing in his velocity or spin rates that would suggest the showing against Miami was anything more than an anomaly and a bad early season outing.
Eflin has always displayed elite control metrics, and his 3.4 walks per nine thus far this season could be deflating the market projection on him. He’s not going to give free passes, and that usually enables him to prevent the big inning.
From a defensive perspective, I’m also expecting Didi Gregorius to be out for Philadelphia at shortstop, which will improve the Phillies’ bad defense in the infield considerably.
Marquez May Be Undervalued
From a personal standpoint, Marquez is one of my favorite pitchers in all of baseball, and I wish he could pitch half of his starts somewhere other than Coors Field. The right-hander should have success against this Phillies lineup that projects better against left-handed pitching than righties.
Marquez is striking out fewer batters in 2022 through two starts, but he also faced the Dodgers and Cubs, two lineups that are not striking out much this season. I’d expect him to bounce back on that front in this start against the strikeout-happy top of the Phillies order.
Marquez throws his fastball 45% of the time, which is a concern against a Phillies lineup that should mash fastballs. But what I like about Marquez is that he has elite control and movement with his two breaking pitches. Both his curveball and slider are plus pitches, and the Phillies have really struggled with breaking balls in 2022.
He has posted career-low Walk Rates and Hard Hit Rates through those two starts. It’s too early for it to be a signal and is likely noise, but Marquez with improved command and better barrel avoidance could be the big key for him to take the next step from good starter into the elite tier.
He has projected around a 4.00-4.20 xERA for most of his career to this point, but fewer walks and homers would drive him down toward the 3.50 xERA range. I’m willing to bet that Marquez will trend toward that direction at least somewhat this year and thus be undervalued.
Betting an under at Coors Field is by nature contrarian, but we’ve got two pitchers whom I’m generally higher on than the market tends to be when projecting them. Maybe Eflin will never see that positive regression playing in front of the Philadelphia defense, but elite command from both starters should keep traffic off the bases, if some hard hit contact is put in play against these defenses.
Marquez should keep the Phillies’ elite lineup — by projections at least — off balance with a heavy dose of breaking balls that they haven’t been able to hit to this point in 2022.
My colleague Sean Zerillo projects the first five innings total at 5.67 runs, and I like the Under Six Runs in the First Five Innings currently listed at DraftKings.
Pick: First Five Innings Under 6 (-115)