Rockies vs. Astros Odds, Prediction | Wednesday MLB Betting Preview
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images. Pictured: Rockies first baseman CJ Cron.
Rockies vs. Astros Odds
-120 / +100
-120 / +100
Chase Anderson hasn't had the best season for the Colorado Rockies. The 35-year-old does thrive in one particular area, though, and that's inducing weaker contact. He will have quite the test Wednesday when he takes on the Houston Astros, but with Yordan Álvarez on the shelf, this matchup is a bit more even.
The Astros will start J.P. France, who has had encouraging results but his underlying numbers say he will face some negative regression soon.
Colorado will be without Charlie Blackmon, but it's otherwise healthy. The Rockies have been weak against right-handers, but they have enough in the lineup to get the job done as significant underdogs Wednesday.
Anderson started off this season well with a 1.31 ERA in May when he joined the Colorado pitching staff. That mark has since fallen off drastically, as he put up a 10.80 ERA over 25 innings pitched in June.
His last three starts have been subpar, yielding 22 earned runs in total. His 6.50 ERA against a 5.58 xERA does mean he should have more favorable outcomes in the future despite his expected mark not being the best.
That said, his average exit velocity sits at 87.4 MPH, and his hard-hit rate comes in at 32.2%. These numbers are exceptional and could help mitigate the damage done by the Astros’ lineup.
However, Colorado has struggled against righties at the plate since June 1. The Rockies own a 79 wRC+ with a 26.1% strikeout rate over that span. There are some encouraging signs, though, as they're walking over 8% of the time with a collective .706 OPS.
Nolan Jones has been a big part of that success against righties, posting a .422 xwOBA and 92.8 MPH average exit velocity.
472-FOOT WALK-OFF HOMER BY NOLAN JONES! 💣
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 11, 2023
C.J. Cron and Ryan McMahon also own an xwOBA over .395 in that timeframe. It falls off from there, but on the season, they have two other bats — Jurickson Profar and Kris Bryant — with an xwOBA above .320 against righties.
The Rockies haven't done well in relief. Since June 1, the Rox bullpen has posted a 4.94 xFIP with an 11%+ walk rate and sub-20% strikeout rate. Jake Bird and Pierce Johnson have been reliable, so expect to see at least one of them if this game is close after Anderson’s exit.
France is a better pitcher than Anderson, but his 3.13 ERA against his 4.22 xERA shows he's been lucky. He holds an 89.4 MPH average exit velocity and 38% hard-hit rate, so the edge with hard contact goes to Anderson.
Hitting-wise, the Astros own a wRC+ of 109 off of righties since June 1, but Álvarez being on the IL hurts. In that timeframe, they have seven bats with an xwOBA above .325. That's slightly better than the Rockies, but they do see a hole where the power numbers from Álvarez resided before he got hurt.
The Astros boast three arms with an xFIP under 4.00 since the calendar flipped to June, so this is only a small advantage over Colorado’s bullpen. Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly are one of the best setup-closer combos around, but if the Rockies can force France into some stressful situations, the tides shift a bit.
Rockies vs. Astros Betting Pick
The Astros are the better team here, and France is surely the better starting pitcher. However, he will come back to earth a little, and things look more even when Álvarez isn't in the batting order for Houston.
Given that Anderson has the ability to at least keep the Astros' contact in check, the Rockies are the correct play here at their opening number all the way to +165. There's not nearly enough of a gap in pitching to justify this line.