Wednesday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rockies vs. Astros: Bullpens Could Be Decisive Factor in Houston (August 11)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Pressly.
- Houston and Colorado begin a quick two-game series Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
- The Rockies have won seven of their last 10 games, while the Astros are just 4-6 during that same span.
- D.J. James explains why poor bullpen support has him eyeing the total.
Rockies vs. Astros Odds
|Time||2:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings.|
The Houston Astros look to maintain or expand upon their lead in the American League West at home against the Colorado Rockies. Framber Valdez competes with Anthony Senzatela, both of whom have underperformed as of late.
Each have the propensity to allow hard hit balls, so who has the advantage between the two? Is Houston far better in every other facet of the ball game enough to warrant a sizable bet on the heavy favorite?
Rockies Need Quality Start From Senzatela
The Rockies have managed to take seven of their last 10, scoring double digits in three of the last six. Senzatela, however, has not had the strongest season. He only walks batters at a 5.1% clip, but just because he does not allow free passes does not mean he’ll have a great day against the Houston Astros.
In addition, being a contact pitcher will play into the hands of the Astros, since only four Astro hitters have above a 20% strikeout rate.
On the relief side of things, Colorado ranks second-to-last in the MLB in fWAR. Only four of their relievers have a sub-4.00 xFIP. If Senzatela cannot go at least five innings strong, only Daniel Bard or Zac Rosscup are formidable options this season. Joulys Chacin can handle some long relief duties, but the depth stops there.
That said, the Rockies have six players eclipsing the 100 wRC+ mark since July 1 against southpaws, so at least the bats are working for them. Trevor Story has been on a torrid hitting streak with a 322 wRC+ and .857 OPS since August began, so this has helped contribute to the offense against the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs in the last week.
Houston’s Framber Valdez has a hammer of a curveball, but this should play into the hands of Ryan McMahon, Charlie Blackmon and Elías Díaz with their 10%+ walk rates on the season. Patience will prove to be a massive plus when facing Valdez.
Astros Looking to Emerge From Slump
The Astros, on the other hand, are only 4-6 in their last 10. Alex Bregman since June and Yuli Gurriel since last week have been challenging for Houston, but Chas McCormick has been a fantastic addition to the lineup.
Off of right-handers this season, seven batters are over the 100 wRC+ mark, without Gurriel included. In this matchup, Michael Brantley should have a field day. His 7.3% walk rate negates Senzatela’s only strength. In fact, eight hitters over a .330 OBP should help tack on multiple runs for the Astros. If they can make hard contact, Senzatela would likely exit early, handing over the game to one of the worst bullpens in all of Major League Baseball.
The Astro bullpen is not all too strong, but the addition of Kendall Graveman gives them a leg up on the competition in this one. They have a relatively league-average relief corps, but they have many more options in case Valdez struggles early.
Ryan Pressly has been elite with his 1.96 ERA and 2.48 xFIP, so the backend of the bullpen is about as strong as anyone’s. Depending how long, if at all, either of their closers goes on Tuesday will impact this game, but more reasonable options allows for some wiggle room for Dusty Baker on bullpen decisions.
Both of these starters have a tough matchup ahead of them in this game. Both have some strengths (Valdez with his off-speed pitches and Senzatela with his accuracy), but both should struggle.
Yes, Houston has the stronger bullpen, but if Valdez has a rough first few innings, all middle relievers will probably be in action. Do not trust Colorado’s bullpen at all.
Given this wide range of factors with some strong lineups, take the over 9 (-105) runs in this one and play to 9.5 (-110). There should be plenty early.
Pick: Over 9 (-105)