This afternoon affair is the final stop on Pittsburgh’s 10-game road and Colorado concludes seven-game homestand. For those betting baseball, there is plenty to consider before making this selection.
The Pirates look to conclude trip at 7-3, which after starting 0-2 in San Diego, is a nice recovery. The Rockies homestand could be described as rocky, with a 1-5 record going into today’s contest.
Pittsburgh is doing its best to stay near the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, while Colorado wants to avoid a last place finish. The Rockies today and in the future are going to have to better than 4-8 at Coors Field, because of their typical home/road scoring dichotomy. This is what I see for MLB picks at a Mile High.
Thanks to a stunning spring, former Colorado starter Juan Nicasio won the fifth starter role for Pittsburgh. The right-hander has not been able to continue that thrust into the regular season, where his 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA to date. Nicasio has long been known for command issues and inability to work through the opposing lineup more than two or occasionally three times, never picking up the needed third pitch a starter requires. This is unlikely to change in the Steel City over time, but outstanding pitching coach Ray Searage has made adjustments and to this point, opposing hitters are at just .216 batting average against Nicasio.
If Tyler Chatwood (2-2, 3.47) was 6’3 and could stay healthy, he would still be a part of the Los Angeles Angels staff. (Granted, if I was 6’3 and 20 pounds lighter, well never mind) Chatwood has big time stuff and is only 26. At 6’0, he has an overhand delivery and has a lively low 90′s heater and throwing the way he does, Chatwood has nasty 12-to-6 curveball and solid changeup that sinks late. His problem is staying off the DL, where he often finds himself. Chatwood made 25 starts as rookie with the Halos in 2011 and has not come close to that figure since and this will be his ninth time taking the ball to begin a game since 2014.
Pittsburgh wanted to score more runs this season, figuring it would help them on two fronts. With fewer quality starting pitchers to begin the year, putting up higher crooked numbers was more a priority. Also, if they were to reach the postseason again, being able to post more runs might help them advance further. Thus far it, it has worked as planned, scoring 5.4 runs a contest and on this sojourn, they are up to 7.4. John Jaso (3.29 batting average) has been a major addition and every regular has on on-base percentage of .360 or higher.