Giants at Rockies MLB Pick September 5
Things just keep changing in the wild and crazy National League West. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Colorado Rockies still hold a slim half-game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place. Don’t overlook the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are just 1.5 games south of Colorado as of today. With about a full month left in the season, it’s safe to say that this race has a great chance of coming down to the very last weekend of the campaign.
The Rockies have a huge series at home against the Dodgers coming up this weekend, but first they need to focus on wrapping things up with the San Francisco Giants. Colorado has won 4 straight games overall, including the first 2 of their midweek series with the Giants. Tonight’s game will mark the series finale. The Rockies will put Antonio Senzatela on the hill against Giants left-handed rookie Andrew Suarez.
Senzatela has made 18 appearances this season at the big league level, including 8 starts. On the season, the right-hander has a middling strikeout rate of 16.9 percent and a walk rate of 7.7 percent. Rather than relying on strikeouts, Senzatela is a guy that induces plenty of ground balls. Senzatela has a 47.3 percent ground ball rate on the season, which helps him keep from getting blown up too often at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
The right-hander has allowed a hard contact rate over 37 percent, which is a tad high. He’s been good about keeping the ball in the ballpark, however, as he’s just conceded 6 home runs in his aforementioned 18 appearances. He has been fairly neutral in terms of splits over the course of his brief major league career, with perhaps a slight reverse split. In his nearly 2 full seasons as a big leaguer, Senzatela has allowed a .329 wOBA to right-handed hitters compared to a .315 mark against lefties. He has given up 13 homers to righties compared to 11 against left-handed hitters.
The Giants’ lineup is pretty watered-down these days. Andrew McCutchen was shipped to the New York Yankees last week, while Buster Posey was also lost for the season after undergoing season-ending surgery. Brandon Belt has been banged-up of late, but he was in the lineup last night. Guys like Brandon Crawford, Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Nick Hundley don’t instill much fear in opposing pitchers. Senzatela might give up a couple of runs tonight because this is still Coors Field, but the Giants have the look of a team just playing out the string.
As for Suarez, he’s put up pretty respectable numbers for a rookie. His 3.88 SIERA is a bit better than his 4.19 ERA, and he’s posted about a league average 20.8 percent strikeout rate. The 6.2 percent walk rate is perfectly manageable, though he has conceded a hard contact rate north of 40 percent.
He’s kept the ball on the ground at a 51.4 percent clip. He has also allowed 18 home runs across his 24 starts. The issue with Suarez here is that he’s a left-hander with a wide platoon split getting a massive park downgrade going from AT&T Park in San Francisco to Coors Field in Denver. Coors doesn’t always give us offensive fireworks, but Suarez profiles as a guy that’s likely to struggle here.
Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story have been lighting it up all season, particularly when they’re at home facing a lefty. Suarez has yielded a hefty .352 wOBA on the season against right-handed hitters, while he’s held lefties in check to the tune of a .230 mark. 17 of those 18 homers allowed have also been hit by righties. Hitter splits are less reliable than pitcher splits, but Story has a hefty .435 wOBA on the season against lefties, while Arenado is sitting at an absurd .513 mark heading into this game against southpaws. If at least one of them doesn’t take Suarez deep tonight, I’ll be quite surprised.
With the weak Giants on one side and the more talented Rockies on the other, I like Colorado to cover the runline here. You can get Colorado at +109 to win by a run-and-a-half, and I think the value there is too good to ignore. The Rockies need this game more than the Giants do, so I’ll happily take the home team to cover the runline here tonight.
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