Free MLB Picks: The St Louis Cardinals Hosts the Colorado Rockies on ESPN Baseball
Colorado is having a great season, bar none. They led the NL West for some portions of the season and were right there with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks much of the way. But they struggled heading into the All-Star break, losing eight in a row at one point and going 5-13 down the stretch.
The post -break didn’t start out too hot either, dropping their first two to the Mets, but they’ve won six of seven since then. That includes taking two of three from the red-hot Pirates on the weekend. The offense has exploded in these seven games as they’ve scored a total of 74 runs and nine or more in five of the wins.
That includes a 13-3 victory on Sunday. They belted out 15 hits and both Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds had three RBIs in the win. Arenado is on pace for 139 RBIs on the season as he collected his 86th in 100 games.
St Louis has lost four of their last five, dropping the last two of their series to the Mets and then two of three to the Cubs. They lost a heartbreaker to Chicago on Saturday as Adam Wainwright was simply spectacular in a pitcher’s duel with Jon Lester, leading 2-0 after seven innings. But Mike Matheny kept him in the for eighth and the Cubs rallied for three runs and a narrow win. Chicago followed it up with a 5-3 victory on Sunday rallying from a 3-0 deficit to give Jose Quintana his second straight win since coming over from the White Sox.
The Rockies have scored 8.78 RPG in the nine games since the break and have a 7.18 ERA. 23 of those runs were allowed in their first two games – both losses to the Mets.
St Louis has scored 4.2 RPG since the break with a team ERA of 2.67 which is tops in the NL.
Antonio Senzatela (10-3, 4.67 ERA) made his first start since June 22nd last week allowing four runs (three earned) in five innings of a 9-7 win over the Padres. He’d made three bullpen appearances in the interim allowing one run in five innings. The rookie was hit hard in his last three starts before the bullpen switch and it’s unclear if he’s out of the woods yet.
Mike Leake (6-8, 3.39 ERA) has been a hard luck pitcher much of the year, but he has not looked sharp in his last three outings and neither has the Cards defense. He’s only pitched 10.2 innings in that stretch allowing nine earned runs and 17 overall. The Cards have lost each of those starts.
Cash It In: The Rockies are +130 underdogs and the Cardinals -150 favorites. I expect a bounce back performance for Leake, but it’s hard to go against a raking Rockies team hitting as well as they have been. I think they’ll find a way against the Cards bullpen. Rockies 8-4.
MLB Free Picks: Colorado Rockies +130