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Rockies vs. Diamondbacks MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Fade Slumping Lineups in Arizona (Friday, July 8)

Rockies vs. Diamondbacks MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Fade Slumping Lineups in Arizona (Friday, July 8) article feature image
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Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Zac Gallen (Diamondbacks)

  • The Diamondbacks are home favorites on Friday against the Rockies.
  • With Zac Gallen coming off of two rough starts and Chad Kuhl surging, how should you bet this game?
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Rockies vs. Diamondbacks Odds

Rockies Odds +138
Diamondbacks Odds -164
Over/Under 8.5 (-122 / +100)
Time 9:40 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

A pitching matchup between Chad Kuhl and Zac Gallen doesn’t scream “pitching duel,” but it may indeed turn out to be one thanks to the state of the Diamondbacks’ and Rockies’ offenses.

With a relatively even pitching matchup and a skewed line, could there be value on the underdog here, or is the total a better option? Let’s answer those questions below.

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Rockies Hitters Lacking Power

The Rockies are slipping. They’ve lost 10 of their last 16 games, including a sweep by the Dodgers to start the week. With that said, they may be building that momentum back up after a narrow 4-3 victory over the Diamondbacks on Thursday night.

There’s not a ton wrong with what the Rockies are doing at the plate right now. They’re fourth in Contact Rate and fourth-best in Strikeout Rate over the last two weeks. Colorado is hitting a solid .241 in that time, but its ISO is among the worst in baseball, and its Barrel Rate is a tragic 4.4%.

Kuhl, meanwhile, has had a pretty neat season. His ERA stands at a very respectable (and career-best) 3.83, and he’s done it all by pitching to contact. While this isn’t the prettiest way to get outs, the right-hander has a .367 xwOBA on contact, which isn’t the worst. He’s still not inducing enough ground balls to be considered great at pitching to contact, but his peripherals would indicate he’s hardly put himself in any arduous positions.


Can Gallen Avoid Dingers for the Diamondbacks?

Kuhl has been pitching well, particularly of late, but that’s not a sentiment we can share about the talented Zac Gallen. The righty has allowed nine earned runs in his last two starts, spanning 11 innings, and he hasn’t allowed a home run in each of his last three starts. In fact, dating back to May 24th, he’s allowed eight dingers in eight starts.

Gallen’s Barrel Rate sits at 8.8%, which is firmly below average, though his .363 xwOBA on contact and 32.9% Hard-Hit Rate suggest he’s not consistently getting into trouble when it comes to catastrophic contact, rather he’s making one or two disastrous mistakes per game.

At the plate, Arizona has been very marginally better than Colorado. Its Barrel Rate rests 18th over the last two weeks, and its Hard-Hit Rate is nearly identical. The Diamondbacks, too, have the second-lowest Strikeout Rate in the game, though their high-contact approach has yielded slightly better results thanks to their 9.8% Walk Rate.

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Rockies-Diamondbacks Pick

I like both of these pitchers on Friday night as Kuhl has really calmed down in the walk department this season, coming in with an 8.6% Walk Rate. Without too much traffic on the base paths and a somewhat effective pitch-to-contact approach, I don’t see Arizona running up the score against him.

Similarly, Gallen has been sporadically victimized by loud contact, but the Rockies’ inability to do that consistently leads me to believe he should settle back in here and rebound nicely from a couple of bad starts.

Consequently, I’m seeing a ton of value on this total. I think it’s a full run too high at nine (-118).

Pick: Under 9 (bet365, -118)

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