With the midseason mark fast approaching, the (46-26) Colorado Rockies and (44-26) Arizona Diamondbacks continue to jostle for positioning in the highly contested NL West. They’ll meet for a three-game series in Denver, beginning today through to Thursday (games one and two are at 8:40 PM ET; game three is at 3:10 PM ET).
Here we will preview today’s Game 1, concluding with our betting picks and predictions.
The NL West has been one of baseball’s most competitive divisions this year, with each of the top three teams all within one game of the other. Remarkably, the first place Rockies, who have been an MLB franchise since 1993, have yet to win the Western division title once. The team has reached the playoffs three times via the wildcard round but this year they’ll be looking for their first trip back since 2009.
Their opponents over the next week will be a team that is looking for their first playoff bid since 2011. The Diamondbacks last won the NL West six years ago and have been a very inconsistent team in the time since. Last year, Arizona won just 69 games, finishing in fourth.
These two teams have already met for six games this season, with the Rockies winning four times. Five of the six games however, have been decided by three runs or less, an outcome that could be repeated this week.
By the Numbers: Colorado Rockies
Offensively, the Colorado Rockies are a great team. They are the second best team in baseball and first in the NL when it comes to total runs scored this season (383). The Rockies are also the best team in the league in total hits (679), second in RBI (370) and fourth in total bases (1103). Colorado’s offense boasts MLB’s second highest average, fifth highest on base percentage and sixth highest slugging.
Colorado isn’t half bad from the mound either where they are among the top-10 ranked teams in baseball in ERA (4.11), innings pitched (643.1) and walks (239). The Rockies are also 15th in total strikeouts (572).
Simply put, this team is good, really good, and that explains why they have the best record in the NL and are tied with the Houston Astros for the best record in baseball. The Rockies have made it look easy this year, whether at home, where they are 21-13 or on the road, where they are an even better 25-13.
By the Numbers: Arizona Diamondbacks
Another top team in both the NL, Arizona ranks fifth in most runs (359) and RBI (342), sixth in hits (636) and extra base hits (1088). The Diamondbacks are also in the top-10 in average, on base percentage and slugging, where the team actually ranks slightly higher than their opponents this week.
From the mound, Arizona is the second best team in the NL, which also makes them only the second best team in their division as the LA Dodgers lead the way with the league’s best ERA. Just a few points behind them however are the Diamondbacks (3.43), who boast four starting pitchers with ERAs under 3.35, two of which have ERAs under three.
At home, the Diamondbacks are pristine and hold an MLB best record of 26-9. On the road however, as they will be in this series, the team is just 18-17. With both teams so evenly matched, this home field advantage for the Rockies could definitely play into the outcome.
Pitching Probables Game 1: COL German Marquez vs ARI Zack Greinke
The 22-year-old German Marquez is in just his second season in the majors but has been holding his own. Marquez has a 4.19 ERA in his first full season as a starter, with 51 strikeouts, a 1.40 WHIP and five wins. Against the Diamondbacks, Marquez has been a mixed bag this year. Having already faced the team twice, he had an excellent start, doing six scoreless with eight strikeouts and a poor start, giving up just five runs in six innings.
Arizona will send a 13-year veteran to the mound in the 33-year-old Zack Greinke. In just his second year with the Diamondbacks, Greinke continues to show why he is one of the best pitchers in the game. On the year, he ranks third in the NL in wins with eight, fourth in WHIP at 1.03, sixth in strikeouts with 104 and eighth in ERA at 3.00. Against the Rockies, Greinke has pitched 13 innings this year, has struck out 16 and has an ERA of 3.46. In his last start Greinke was flawless, going 5.2 innings and giving up no runs.
Greinke definitely seems to have the advantage over the younger and inexperienced Marquez but Colorado’s offense is definitely going to be something to watch out for. Most of them are familiar with Greinke and hit him well, with three players having over 20 at bats against the righty and a .280 average.
Our Preview’s Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Betting Predictions & Picks
- Colorado are -1.5 favorites with the American betting sites, and this preview likes the look of that wager as the pick. Bet on the Rockies -1.5pts @ best betting odds of +165 with 5Dimes.
- As for the total, it’s set at 11, which is a bit high considering the games these two teams have played to this season. Therefore the prediction is to take the under 11 @ biggest odds of +100 (evens) with Bovada Sportsbook.