Pirates vs. Rockies MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why C.J. Cron and Colorado’s Bats Should Feast at Home (Friday, July 15)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: C.J. Cron
- The Rockies are home favorites on Friday against the Pirates.
- The Pirates are in a tough scheduling spot after traveling over 2,000 miles to get to Colorado.
- Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Pirates vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||8:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the middle of a grueling four-city and 12-game road trip heading into the All-Star break. Thus far, it has gone well as the team is 5-4 through the first three series. However, Pittsburgh lost to the Miami Marlins in walk-off fashion on Wednesday and Thursday to close out the series. Next, the Pirates will travel cross country to Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies continued their home dominance over the San Diego Padres by taking three of four, including an 8-5 win yesterday. The Rockies swept the Pirates at Coors Field last season, but the Pirates took two of three from the Rockies in Pittsburgh in May. Can the Rockies return the favor and keep up their winning ways at home?
Can Quintana and the Pirates Step Up on the Road?
Jose Quintana will get the ball in game one of this series for the Pirates. The veteran left-hander is 2-4 with a 3.59 ERA on the season. However, he could be in for a long night. Quintana has an xERA of 4.28, .278 xBA, and .459 xSLG. He is allowing a 37.4% Hard-Hit Rate, and right-handed batters have hit him much harder than lefties. Quintana has allowed seven homers and a .264 batting average to righties compared to .196 and no homers allowed to lefties.
Additionally, Quintana has been worse on the road this season. At PNC Park, Quintana has a 3.02 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 50.2 innings pitched. On the road, he has a 4.41 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 34.2 innings of work. Tonight, he will pitch in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in Coors Field. Hard hits at Coors Field will lead to traffic on the base paths and a short night for Quintana.
The Pirates offense may not be able to keep up with the Rockies. The Pittsburgh offense ranks 29th in batting average and 28th in both OPS and runs scored. In July, they are averaging 3.5 runs per game and hitting .220 as a team.
Rockies Hitters Should Thrive Tonight
The Rockies will attack Quintana with a lineup heavy on right-handed hitters with C.J. Cron, Kris Bryant, Jose Iglesias, Yonathan Daza, Connor Joe, and Brendan Rodgers. As you would expect, the Rockies mash left-handed pitching. As a club, they hit .288 with a .792 OPS against LHP this season.
First baseman Cron has six home runs off lefties this season in just 102 at-bats. Second baseman Rodgers is hitting .333 with a .924 OPS against left-handers this season. He has a home run in four career ABs against Quintana. Third baseman Bryant is 2-for-6 against his former teammate. Despite being a left-handed hitter, Charlie Blackmon is 6-for-10 with a home run against Quintana. Blackmon is also hitting .345 with 10 RBIs over his last 15 games.
The Rockies love hitting at home just as much as they love facing lefties. The Rockies are hitting .283 and average 5.8 runs at home compared to .233 and 3.02 runs on the road. That has a lot to do with the Rockies being 25-22 at home and 15-27 on the road.
German Marquez will get the start for the Rockies, but it has not been a great year for him, going 5-7 with a 4.95 xERA. However, in his last start he allowed just two runs in seven innings of work against the Diamondbacks.
The Pirates played in Miami yesterday and flew over 2,000 miles to Denver. While yesterday’s early start helped, that still doesn’t leave much time for them to adjust to the altitude in Colorado. The on-field factors do not work in their favor either.
Quintana will have a tough time navigating the Rockies’ righty-heavy lineup. Look for the Rockies offense to have a big day, which may get Quintana out of the game early. That will allow the Rockies to attack a Pirates bullpen that has been taxed and blown leads in the last two games.
The Rockies are set up well to pick up another win at home, and I would play them on the moneyline up to -155 to lock in the win. Any more juice than that, and I would pivot to the Rockies -1.5 on the runline.
Pick: Rockies ML -140 (PointsBet)