MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Pirates vs. Rockies: How Much of Advantage Does Colorado Have at Coors Field? (Monday, June 28)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Ke’Bryan Hayes.
- Two of the National League's worst teams clash on Monday as the Rockies host Pittsburgh.
- Only one other N.L. team has a worse record than both clubs, but Colorado actually has a formidable offense at Coors Field.
- Michael Ianniello, however, explains below why he's backing Pittsburgh to keep playing well as of late.
Pirates vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||4:40 p.m. ET|
Only one team in the National League has a worse record than the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates. Colorado enters the week after getting swept at the hands of Milwaukee over the weekend.
Pittsburgh on the other hand, just won three games of a four-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Buccos have won or split each of their last three series.
These two teams are two of the worst teams in baseball. But somebody has to win on Monday, so who has the edge?
Pirates Are Bad All Around
JT Brubaker has been the Pirates’ best starting pitcher this season but Monday’s starter Tyler Anderson (LHP) is right behind him.
In 14 starts this year, Anderson has a 4.82 ERA and 4.48 FIP this season. His ERA would be even lower if it wasn’t for two blowup starts when he allowed nine and six runs. If you take out those starts he has a 3.63 ERA.
Obviously, playing in Colorado is extra tough on pitchers and is the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the league. Anderson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Rockies, and is plenty familiar with pitching in Coors Field. In his first start against his former team last year as a member of the Giants, Anderson went five innings and allowed no runs and just two hits at Coors Field.
The Pirates offense is last in the league in just about every statistic over the course of the whole season. But the Buccos have been hot recently. Over the last week, the Pirates rank fourth in the league in batting average and seventh in OPS.
Just like has been the case all season, the Pirates offense is carried by the top three in their order. In the last week, Adam Frazier is batting .435, Bryan Reynolds is batting .440 and Ke’Bryan Hayes is batting .400. Frazier leads all of baseball with 98 hits this season and Hayes has a multi-hit game in four of his last five and just made one of the best defensive plays of the season yesterday.
THAT'S IT. THAT'S THE TWEET. pic.twitter.com/Bh3Mrir1i4
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 27, 2021
Rockies Have Decent Offense At Home
It has been a bit of a weird career for Kyle Freeland (LHP) in Colorado. The former eighth overall pick in 2014, was good in his first big league season in 2017 and then brilliant in 2018, posting a 2.85 ERA. He was than horrible in 2019, going 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA. Freeland had a bounce back year in 2020 with a 4.33 ERA.
Well this season has been another struggle for Freeland. After missing the first two months of the season with a shoulder injury, Freeland is 0-2 with a 7.76 ERA in six starts this year. He is averaging just 4.4 innings per start this year and has almost as many walks (12) as strikeouts (19).
Freeland has just a 6.41 K/9, and his strikeout rate is in the bottom 4% of the league. Teams are batting in astonishing .369 against him this year, and he sits in the bottom 2% of the league in xwOBA and xERA. Freeland has allowed a 14.7 Barrel%, the bottom 1% of the league. Needless to say, giving up barrels at Coors Field is a problem.
Everybody knows the Rockies always had much better home splits and hit the ball way better in the high altitude. This year, they average 5.83 runs per game at home, the most in the league. However, they rank last in the league on the road, scoring just 2.69 runs per game away from Denver.
It is hard to handicap the Rockies because their offense stinks, but they play well at home. Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon are the big names in this lineup, but it actually Raimel Tapia and Yonathan Daza who lead the team in hitting this year.
Coors Field has to be taken into consideration when betting, more than any other ballpark in baseball. The Rockies are always better at home, because every team hits well in Denver. But this season, the splits have been even more dramatic, and they have looked like a completely different team at home.
The Rockies’ runs per game at home and away have a difference of 3.14 this year. That would be the biggest difference in franchise history. The altitude gives you a boost on offense, but it doesn’t help you that much.
Both of these pitchers have started over 40 games in Coors Field. Anderson has a 4.14 ERA with a .270 batting average and .771 OPS against in Coors Field, and Freeland has a 4.54 ERA with a .280 batting average and .816 OPS in Denver. Freeland has a 10.38 ERA in his two starts at home this year.
Both of these teams stink, and while I know the Rockies have been solid at home, they are so bad on the road I just have a hard time trusting them at all.
The Battlin’ Buccos are definitely towards the bottom of the standings, but they have been playing well recently and have the fire power at the top of their lineup as good as any team in the league.
I like the Pirates to continue playing well into Coors Field and will back them as small underdogs to Raise The Jolly Roger on Monday.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates ML +110 or better.