We went 1-1 on our picks for Thursday’s season-opening doubleheader. The Dodgers staged a late rally to hit the over on 8 runs, while the Nationals were beaten 4-1 by the Yankees. That game was shortened by rain, though, so I can still claim that the Nats would’ve ultimately come back in dramatic fashion to win had the game been allowed to reach its full conclusion. Alas.
Regardless, we’ve got a full 14-game MLB slate on tap for Friday, which feels good to say after four months without major pro sports on TV. One game that stands out from a betting perspective is an interleague matchup between the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers. We’ll have a battle of right-handers tonight with German Marquez set to take the mound for Colorado opposite Rangers starter Lance Lynn.
Can Marquez Bounce Back?
Marquez broke out in a big way in 2018. While he still put up solid numbers last year, he didn’t quite take the leap forward many expected. Perhaps pitching half of your games in the hitter’s paradise known as Coors Field had something to do with that. Marquez posted a decent 24.3 percent strikeout rate, which was down nearly four percent from the previous season. He did shave his walk rate all the way down to 4.9 percent, but his 4.76 ERA left plenty to be desired.
Many of Marquez’ issues can be attributed directly to Coors, however. He allowed a bloated .356 wOBA at home, but just .273 on the road. His walks and hits allowed per nine innings were both significantly inflated at home, as well.
While the Rangers’ home park may turn out to be a hitter-friendly environment, we really don’t know that yet. Texas is moving into a new stadium this season that includes a retractable roof, which means they won’t be playing home games in 105-degree heat every night anymore. While that’s good for the players, of course, we could also see offensive numbers dip if Globe Life Field turns out to be more pitcher-friendly than its predecessor, Globe Life Park.
Lynn Could Be Due For Regression
Lynn, meanwhile, put up a career-year in 2019. The veteran had a K-rate north of 28 percent while cutting his walk rate from 10.9 percent to just 6.7 percent. Lynn has long had issues with left-handed hitters, but he improved his performance against LHBs quite a bit last year. In fact, 15 of the 21 home runs he allowed all season were actually hit by righties, which is quite a change from where he was in the past. In 2017, for example, 17 of the 27 homers he coughed up were hit by left-handed batters.
Still, I’m more inclined to trust the larger sample size when it comes to Lynn’s numbers. While his showing last year was impressive, I’m not willing to buy into the notion that he’s suddenly capable of shutting down lefties entirely. Colorado is capable of stacking the lineup with LHBs against him, so he’ll be tested once again right away.
Lynn will have to deal with Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Sam Hilliard, and Ryan McMahon, among others. That’s not a murderer’s row in its own right but when you factor Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado in from the right side, the lineup doesn’t look so easy.
This game is essentially a toss-up. MyBookie.ag has the Rangers has slight moneyline favorites at -105, while Colorado checks in as +120 underdogs. The betting public is divided on this one, as well. 52 percent of the bets and 51 percent of public money have come in on the Rockies’ moneyline, which makes things pretty tight.
In a game like this, I’m always willing to take a shot on the plus-money value. The Rockies and Rangers are a couple of comparable clubs with solid starters taking the mound tonight. Colorado profiles more dangerously against Lynn than the Rangers do against Marquez, so I like taking a stab at those +120 odds on the Rockies to win the game outright.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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