Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rockies vs. Dodgers: Back Colorado to Keep Things Close Early (July 25)

Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rockies vs. Dodgers: Back Colorado to Keep Things Close Early (July 25) article feature image

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray.

  • The Colorado Rockies take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sunday's Major League Baseball action.
  • Starting pitcher Jon Gray gets the ball for the Rockies, who are +155 underdogs in this contest.
  • Michael Arinze breaks things down below and details why he's expecting Colorado to keep things close early on.

Rockies vs. Dodgers Odds

Rockies Odds+155
Dodgers Odds-190
Time4:10 p.m. ET
TVMLB Network
Odds as of Sunday afternoon via BetMGM.

A solo home run by Austin Barnes was enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers to eke out a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Saturday's contest. The win  put the series at one game apiece, but the Dodgers still have a 9-3 advantage over the course of the entire campaign.

Sunday's matchup features two pitchers who have more in common than their handedness. They have same surname, though they're not related.

Colorado's Jon Gray gets the start as he goes for his fifth consecutive quality outing. He'll be opposed by Josiah Gray, who will make his second appearance and first career start for Los Angeles.

While we don't have much data on the Dodgers' rookie, we know he was walloped in his first four innings of work and allowed three home runs. He could face some jitters early on again, which has me pondering a possible play that would take advantage of that potential situation.

Resilient Gray Having Solid Season in Colorado

After a disappointing 2020 season, Gray is back to being the Rockies' best pitcher. In 17 starts, he's 6-6 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. His advanced numbers are also fairly in line with his ERA when considering his 3.55 xERA and 3.98 FIP.  And his recent form does bode well against a Los Angeles team that will be a bit shorthanded, with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Max Muncy all expected to be ruled out.

That could be key for Gray's strategy in determining which hitters to go after and which ones he should pitch around. Keep in mind that in 123 at-bats, the Dodgers have a .358/.434/.528 line against Gray with a .171 wOBA. However, to his credit, he's held his own against them this season in allowing just five runs in 16 innings of work.

One player he wouldn't mind not having to face is Cody Bellinger. The Arizona native is 11 for 22 against Gray, with six extra-base hits. Bellinger is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, though. He has only played in 42 games this season, hitting below the Mendoza line at .162 so far.

In July, he's struggled even more as he's managed only seven hits in 69 at-bats. At this point, it's even likelier that the injuries are playing a role in his recent struggles. And rest of the Dodgers haven't exactly been firing on all cylinders either, as they're just 2-5 in their last seven games.

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Rising Pitching Star Taking Mound for Los Angeles

It's been a pretty quick progression to the majors for Gray. He hasn't spent more than one season at any minor-league level, as he's always seemed to impress no matter where he has been. Gray was a top pitching prospect for the Cincinnati Reds, but he was included in a 2018 trade that sent Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood in exchange for Homer Bailey.

From rookie ball all the way up to Triple-A, the New Rochelle (N.Y.) native has never finished a season with an ERA higher than three. What's interesting is that up through Double-A, he never had an HR/9 ratio greater than 0.40. But in 15 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, that number spiked to 1.72. Now, it's up to 6.75  after pitching four innings in his MLB debut.

I personally think these are just growing pains for the young right-hander, as I'd fully expect him to be a big part of the Dodgers' plans down the road. Yet, that doesn't mean he won't go through some hiccups in the early stages. That's exactly what I'll be looking to target his first career start.

According to Baseball Savant, Gray's arsenal includes a four-seamer (45.5%), slider (28.6%), curveball (24.7%) and changeup (1.3%). Two of the three home runs he surrendered in his debut were against his fastball, and I think it's fair to expect him to be a bit charged up for this start. I don't see him featuring more of his offspeed repertoire with the adrenalin coursing through his body.

It's worth noting Colorado is 10.9 runs above average against the fastball. That said, I like its chances of seeing a decent amount of those pitches.

Rockies-Dodgers Pick

The Dodgers will always be one of the more overvalued teams, which creates an opportunity to fade them in certain spots. I think this is a clear chance to do just that with a rookie pitcher making his first start and the Dodgers being a bit short-handed at the moment. Let's not forget that Colorado's starter has been pitching extremely well of late.

However, since my handicap is centered on isolating the Dodgers' rookie, I'll gear my action to a wager in the first five innings instead. Here's something I found which helped to make my decision a bit easier: Coming off a one-run loss, the Rockies are 10-3 for 4.91 units with Gray as their starter.

The Rockies also haven't suffered consecutive losses against the spread in this spot, and his last outing resulted in a loss. After shopping around, BetMGM has the best price on the Rockies at -105 odds, so I'll place my action there.

Pick: Rockies First Five Innings Run Line +0.5 (-105)

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