The Houston Astros needed extra innings to defeat the Colorado Rockies in the first game of their two-game series. Will the same be said for Game 2 today (8:40 PM ET Wednesday) or will the Rockies even the series in front of their hometown Coors Field fans?
Read our Colorado Rockies vs Houston Astros Game 2 preview & predictions and we conclude with betting picks for today’s game.
Rockies vs Astros Game 1 Recap
The Astros struck first, scoring two runs in their half of the first to get ahead to an early lead. With George Springer on base, Alex Bregman hit his 21st home run of the season driving in the two runs. Neither team had much in the way of offense after that. It wasn’t until the seventh inning that Colorado finally got things going, scoring two runs on three of their six total hits for the game.
With the game tied, the two teams played on into extra innings. However unlike the marathon game being played in Philadelphia, Houston just needed one additional inning to get in the win column. With Wade Davis on the mound, the Astros exploded for a six-run 10th inning that saw Springer hit a two run-homer and Houston total seven of their 10 hits for the game.
The Astros, who bookended the scoring with runs only in the first and last inning, won by a score of 8-2 giving them their 67th win of the season. Colorado meanwhile, fell to 53-47, losing ground to both the Arizona Diamondbacks (56-46) and division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (56-44) in the NL West.
Game 2 Pitching Probables: (HOU) Charlie Morton v (COL) Jon Gray
Having lost Game 1 and with it, ground in the tight NL West race, the Rockies will send their opening day starter, Jon Gray, to the mound. It has been an up-and-down season for the 26-year-old righty out of Oklahoma. Gray struggled in the month of April, giving up 18 earned runs in just over 28 innings. Gray bookended the month with two shut outs but in between, gave up seven, five and six earned runs in his other three starts. In May, Gray’s command was a little better as he gave up just three home runs in over 32 innings and had two strong starts, giving up just one run in 14 innings.
Most recently, Gray struggled again in June and as a result, found himself demoted to the minors so he could figure things out. Gray returned about a week ago where he made his first start in the month of July. As it turned out, it was one of his best starts all season. Gray gave up just five hits and one earned run. He also only walked one in a season high 7.1 innings of work.
Gray enters this game having won four of his last five decisions dating back to the end of May. This will be his first career start against Houston. Only JJ Redick has at bats against him and he is hitting just .143 in his seven chances.
Opposing Gray will be the 34-year-old Charlie Morton, who is having the best season of his 10-year career. Morton, who made his first career all-star appearance this year, ranks top-10 in the American League in a handful of pitching categories, including wins (11; 6th), strike outs (146; 7th) and ERA (2.96; 9th). Morton also ranks first in the league in winning percentage with .846 meaning he has won about 85 percent of his starts this year.
Morton pitched as good as anybody in the first full month of the season, giving up just seven earned runs in 36.2 innings. Additionally, he struck out 45 while walking just 13. In May, those numbers got even better as he struck out 40 and walked just nine. June was probably Morton’s toughest month on the mound but even then, he only gave up 10 earned runs in 28 innings. His walks were up but his month-by-month totals for home runs surrendered was the best of the season.
July has been a bit of a mixed bag with Morton picking up just his second loss of the season and so far giving up 10 earned runs in 6.2 innings as well as six walks. But even with his struggles, Morton has kept his team in position to win. The Astros are 12-7 in his 19 outings this season.
Unlike his counterpart, Morton has a long history of facing some of Colorado’s players given he spent a good portion of his career in the National League with the Pittsburgh Pirates. No stranger to one another, Morton has faced four Colorado players in at least eight at bats. Of those four, two are hitting .250, another .200 and the fourth .273. Against those batters, Morton has yielded just four RBI and one home run.
Our Preview’s Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies Game 2 Picks & Predictions Verdict
Unsurprisingly, the Astros, who are one of the best teams record wise, are also one of baseball’s best hitting teams. They rank second only to the Boston Red Sox, MLB’s top team, in runs and RBI, third in hits and fourth in team batting average with .260 and on base percentage with .335.
In those same categories, the Rockies actually aren’t that far off what Houston has done. Colorado ranks sixth in runs and RBI, 11th in hits, eighth in home runs (Houston ranks ninth) and seventh in average (.257) as well as 11th in OBP (.322).
Offensively, Houston is the better team and they may be from the mound as well. However, when looking at some trend lines, the Astros are just 1-4 in Morton’s last five starts with a winning record compared to the Rockies being 5-0 in Gray’s last five Game 2 starts and 9-2 in his last 11 Wednesday starts. Those trends won’t hold much bearing on this week’s game but they are something to keep in mind given baseball’s propensity to be quite a strange statistically-driven sport.
- Currently the run line is sitting at 1.5 at most of America’s sportsbooks in favor of the Astros. But our pick has the Rockies taking Game 2 and besting the spread in the process. So take Colorado +1.5 @ best betting odds of -145 with Bovada or 5Dimes.
- As for the runline, it is set at 10, which is where last night’s game ended. That being said, Morton should be able to hold Colorado under that so look for the total to fall under 10 @ best odds of -115 with Intertops. It is -120 with the other books.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.