Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rockies vs. Dodgers: Expect Quick Start for Los Angeles Hitters (August 29)

Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rockies vs. Dodgers: Expect Quick Start for Los Angeles Hitters (August 29) article feature image
Credit:

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urías

  • National League West foes square off in Sunday's Major League Baseball action when the Rockies face the Dodgers.
  • Los Angeles is looking for a series win to stay alive in the race for the division crown.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the game below and details why he's expecting a fast Los Angeles start.

Rockies vs. Dodgers Odds

Rockies Odds +200
Dodgers Odds -250
Over/Under 9
Time 3:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Sunday morning via BetMGM

The Dodgers got back in the win column on Saturday night after dropping Friday’s series opener against the Rockies.

If Los Angeles plans on catching the division-leading Giants, it knows it can ill afford another setback at home against a Colorado team that’s tied for the fewest road wins (16) in the majors.

Los Angeles will send its winningest pitcher, Julio Urías (14-3), to the mound for the rubber match. Antonio Senzatela will oppose Urías for the Rockies.

Senzatela’s past three outings have all been quality starts, but he’ll face a stiff challenge against this Dodgers’ lineup that’s had some success against him.

I’ll explore that and much more as we get you set for this NL West series finale.

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Colorado Rockies

Senzatela comes into this game with a 2-9 record, a 4.42 ERA, and a 1.39 WHIP. If your first thought is that he’s probably been a bit unlucky with his win-loss record, you’d be correct. His 3.63 FIP is almost a full run lower than his ERA, which would suggest some positive regression.

Senzatela’s 1.98 BB/9 ratio, along with an HR/FB rate of 9%, are certainly ideal for what you’d like to see in a pitcher. However, while he’s been able to limit his walks and keep the ball inside the park, opposing hitters have often found a way to reach base, as evidenced by their .288 batting average.

To put it bluntly, his pitches don’t miss many bats.

Per FanGraphs, he has a Called Plus Swinging Strike Rate (CSW) of just 24.7%, which is well below average. Opposing hitters are also making contact on 89.3% of his pitches inside the strike zone.

This is precisely where Senzatela’s 1.39 WHIP becomes problematic because he goes from a .299 / .328 / .434 line in medium leverage situations to .368 / .435 / .474 in a high leverage spot.

None of those are a good sign when you’re facing a lineup that slashes .341 / .405 / .623 against you. Those numbers represent 138 at-bats, and while I credited Senzatela’s ability to limit home runs, he hasn’t had that same success against this Dodgers group.

Nine of their 47 hits left the park as souvenirs, and their .283 ISO is more than concerning. To sum it up, this is far from a matchup that Senzatela’s particularly looking forward to.

Los Angeles Dodgers

I’ve followed Urías for quite some time because I remember when he made his debut with the Dodgers as a 19-year old in 2016. He appeared in 18 games that season, with 15 of them as a starter.

Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw didn’t even make his debut as a teenager. That shows the kind of confidence the Los Angeles organization has in Urías, and while they often limited his workload early in his career, those decisions certainly look like they’ve paid off.

We already know about Urías’ impressive win-loss record, but he also sports a 3.17 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. His 3.35 FIP points to a slight regression though the disparity isn’t enough to suggest a major performance drop.

Like Senzatela, Urías has limited his walks and home runs, as evidenced by his 1.99 BB/9 and 1.06 HR/9 ratios. However, opposing batters have had far less success against the left-hander when considering their .220 batting average.

Urías can also deliver a strikeout when needed, judging by his 9.52 K/9 ratio. In contrast, Senzatela’s only been able to strike out 6.25 batters per nine innings.

If we continue the comparison of both starters, opposing hitters are making less contact on balls in the strike zone against Urías (83.9%), and his CSW rate of 30.4% is considered elite.

Lastly, the Rockies’ head-to-head numbers against Urías are less impressive than the Dodgers’ against Senzatela. In 90 at-bats, Colorado’s current lineup has a .244 / .317 / .411 slash line.

Rockies-Dodgers Pick

Los Angeles is as high as a -265 favorite but I’ve never been a fan of laying that kind of juice. Instead, I’d look to target the Dodgers on the first five run line.

Surprisingly, this number isn’t available at the moment, but if I can find odds between -145 and -155, I’ll pull the trigger.

In his career, Urías is 39-24 for 8.69 units on the first five run line. Whereas Senzatela is 2-7 (-5.35 units) as an away pitcher during the first five run line this season.

For me, this game is all about finding the right price, and as a result, I think the first five innings give me the best opportunity in this spot.

Be on the lookout for when this option becomes available because it’s likely only going to go up.

Pick: Dodgers F5 RL -1/2 (-145 to -155)

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