Rockies-Cardinals Betting Preview: All Signs Point To Under, But Ignore Them

Rockies-Cardinals Betting Preview: All Signs Point To Under, But Ignore Them article feature image

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nolan Arenado

  • The Cardinals and Rockies both went under totals at a crazy rate last week.
  • St. Louis sends ace Carlos Martinez to the mound, while Colorado's Tyler Anderson looks to cap a stellar July.
  • In spite of all that, there should be some value on the over in Monday night's contest.

Betting Odds: Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

  • Rockies: +130 (Tyler Anderson)
  • Cardinals: -140 (Carlos Martinez)
  • Total: 8 (+100/-120)
  • First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

On the surface, the Rockies and Cardinals appear to share very little in common. They play in different divisions, are assembled with different philosophies, have spent their money differently and one has had a coaching overhaul while the other’s staff has remained largely the same. If anything, they share the prospect of missing the 2018 postseason, but I think both (and especially Colorado) would dispute that notion.

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Here’s something you might not know they share: they’ve gone under the total a LOT recently. St. Louis just hit the under in three straight against the Cubs, and five of its last six. The Rockies have gone under in five of their last six also, and pushed the other total. Colorado in particularly has gone way under run projections, scoring 2, 3, 3, 4, and 3 runs respectively in its last five games, all at Coors Field, where the totals were ballooned to crazy heights. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have a batting average, slugging percentage and OPS below league average in the last week.

On the mound, Anderson — Colorado’s most surprising starter — will look to continue an ultra-dominant July (1.32 ERA, .141 batting average against). St. Louis is countering with its most talented pitcher in Martinez. Together, this seems to paint a consistent story: there won’t be a lot of runs.

But these are actually the types of situations where I like to get contrarian. I think all of the recent offensive struggles of these teams have caused this total to get dragged down a little bit. This is about the lowest total you could ever get with these two teams and any combination of starting pitchers they have when playing in moderate-to-above-average weather conditions. We seem to have really reached the floor with how they’re being rated offensively.

Let’s also factor in some of the other variables at play in this game, specifically. Martinez was on the 10-day DL, is returning from an oblique injury, and is scheduled to be activated before the game. The idea that we can project him to pitch well with accuracy seems unlikely. He is a wild card, even more so in this game than usual.

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Now also factor in that these are two of the worst bullpens in the major leagues (Colorado is No. 29 in bullpen ERA despite all the money it spent), and there are going to be a lot of innings eaten by subpar pitchers. The opportunities for runs will be there, especially in the late innings, no matter how poor the batters have been recently.

When you go contrarian, just like with any philosophy, you can be made to look like a fool. It usually means you’re on the opposite side of the casual bettors around you, maybe even your friends, who, when they get a result that favors them, are very likely to chime in. We’ve all been there!

I’ll take a somewhat contrarian approach to this game Monday night and say with Martinez’s uncertainty, the bullpen struggles and the offenses maybe due for some positive regression, the over has value at this price.

The Bet: Over 8 (+100)

Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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