After getting swept by the Mariners this past weekend, the Colorado Rockies have now lost five straight games. Colorado will now be back at Coors Field tonight as they play host to the Pirates, and we’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting a F5 bet in this one.
The Pirates will come into tonight two games above .500, but they have lost their last two series. Pittsburgh is 2-4 over their last six games and dropped the final game of the series to the Cardinals yesterday with a final score of 5-4. Even with the winning record, the Pirates are now 23rd in the league in batting average and 24th in WHIP.
On the hill tonight for Pittsburgh will be lefty Rich Hill, fresh off his second loss of the season. Hill has thrown 15 innings through three starts and has a 7.20 ERA with six home runs allowed and eight strikeouts. Struggling to keep the ball in the park is never good, but it’s especially bad when heading into Coors Field.
Hill will face a Rockies lineup that struggled over their three-game set in Seattle. Colorado scored a combined five runs in the first two games and were shut out yesterday afternoon in a game where they only mustered three hits. The Rockies are still 13th in batting average but have fallen to 25th in average runs per game.
Colorado is also in a good spot with pitching tonight, as they’ll roll out Kyle Freeland, who has thrown 18.7 innings and only has a .96 ERA. The lefty has 11 strikeouts and five walks, but most importantly, he’s only allowed two home runs up this point, even with throwing 12 ⅔ innings at home. Freeland made just one start against Pittsburgh last season, and he ended up throwing 4 ⅓ innings while allowing one earned run and striking out six.
The Rockies F5 spread of (-.5) is currently priced at (-114), and I’ll be taking that as my play in this one. Colorado has hit lefties pretty well this season, with a .255 batting average, and after a tough road trip, I think they’ll be thrilled to be hitting at home again against a pitcher who is struggling to keep the ball in the park.
In seven career starts against the Rockies, Rich Hill is 1-4 with a 5.68 ERA, and so far this season, he has been giving up a lot of hard contact. The lefty is in the 5th percentile in barrel percentage, the 3rd percentile in xSLG, and the 46th percentile in average exit velocity. Hill is also in the bottom 6% in the league in expected WOBA and is well above league average in fly ball percentage at 32.1%.
I have a lot of trust in Kyle Freeland, especially with the strong start at producing weak contact. The lefty is in the 64th percentile in barrel percentage and 63rd percentile in hard hit percentage and will be taking on a Pirates lineup that is struggling to hit lefties this season, with a .223 average.
Colorado Rockies F5 (-.5)(-114)