Rockies vs. Rangers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Colorado Has Clear Advantage Across the Board (September 1)

Rockies vs. Rangers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Colorado Has Clear Advantage Across the Board (September 1) article feature image
Credit:

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Freeland.

Rockies vs. Rangers Odds

Rockies Odds -124
Rangers Odds +104
Over/Under 8.5
Time Wednesday, 2:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Tuesday and via Bet Rivers

In a Wednesday matinee game between two non-contending teams, Kyle Freeland and the Colorado Rockies take on Kohei Arihara and the Texas Rangers.

These two teams have struggled in the pitching department all season, but the Rockies rotation is pretty solid. On the other hand, Texas’ has been weak, and Arihara falls under that bucket.

Freeland most likely has an edge, but are the rest of the Rockies that much better than Texas?

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Colorado Rockies

Freeland has been about league average this season. His 4.17 ERA is right in line with his 4.03 xERA. He is very strong at not allowing free passes, but his strikeout percentage is below average.

The southpaw utilizes his slider about as much as his fastball, which plays into his hand because only Texas’ backup catcher, Jonah Heim, maintains an xwOBA over .280. Otherwise, the Rangers have very little success with this pitch. Expect Freeland to have a solid outing in this one.

The Rockies have five hitters who are over the 100 wRC+ mark vs. right-handers in August, one of whom is C.J. Cron at 204. His .785 slugging percentage is absurd, and he owns a .373 xwOBA against both sliders and four-seam fastballs. These are Arihara’s two most featured pitches. He hits these at an average of around 90 MPH, too.

Connor Joe, the struggling Charlie Blackmon, Elías Díaz, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon all sport a .340. xwOBA on these very same pitches, as well.

The Rockies bullpen has been weak this season, but it ranks top 10 in fWAR since the trade deadline. Carlos Estévez has a 0.00 ERA in 12 innings pitched this month, so that helps. Jhoulys Chacín, Lucas Gilbreath and Robert Stephenson have been solid options, too.


Texas Rangers

Arihara has two strong outings all season, and yes, the Rockies are not necessarily a juggernaut, but as I outlined above, they will mash his slider and fastball, which he throws almost 50% of the time. He also allows hard hits on 55% of contact, which does not indicate further success. Arihara’s 14.6% barrel percentage is also abysmal, so all signs point to a tough outing against Colorado.

In addition, Adolis García, Charlie Culberson, and Yohel Pozo are the only three hitters above that 100 wRC+ mark when facing lefties in August. Only having three competent batters will not help against Freeland, considering Texas also does not hit sliders well.

Nate Lowe is struggling against southpaws, and he has one of the highest walk rates on the season. Unfortunately for him, Freeland ranks in the 79th percentile in walk percentage. Texas is cold, so expect that to continue with this duel.

Texas also has been pitching above its weight since the trade deadline. The Rangers’ combined 3.66 ERA and 5.14 xFIP encourage further regression.

Drew Anderson and his 1.00 ERA landing on the injured list did not help an already subpar set of relievers. Joe Barlow, DeMarcus Evans and Brett Martin all have ERAs far lower than their xFIP, and they have been amongst the most reliable arms for the Rangers.

Given these variables, they will come down to earth eventually and some red-hot Rockies hitters can make that happen.

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Rockies-Rangers Pick

The Rockies have an edge in every facet of this game.

Arihara is worse than Freeland. The Rockies’ lineup feasts on fastballs and sliders, and Colorado has some fresh arms ready to go in the bullpen, while the Rangers relievers are overachieving.

Take the Rockies at -124. Play them to -140.

Pick: Rockies ML (-124, play to -140)

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