The Rockies and Dodgers played in a Game 163 last year to decide the winner of the NL West, but that won’t be the case again this year. Following their 16-9 victory in a home run derby-style affair over Colorado on Labor Day, Los Angeles extended their lead to 30.5 games over the Rockies in the division. Colorado has plummeted into last place in the division with a brutal second half of the season. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West is already down to six.
The Rockies are now just 1-9 over their last 10 games, and they were officially eliminated from divisional contention on Monday. This hasn’t been the greatest stretch of the season for the Dodgers either, as they dropped three of four games in Arizona over the weekend, and they’re just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Dodgers will look to make it three straight wins when the two teams get together again on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Julio Urias will return from suspension to start for LA, while Chi Chi Gonzalez will toe the rubber for the visitors. The Dodgers are massive -310 moneyline favorites at most baseball betting sites, and they’re also -150 to cover the 1 ½-run runline.
|2019 ATR Home||24-45||35-36|
|2019 ATR Away||36-34||31-38|
|2019 O/U Home||36-31-2||30-36-5|
|2019 O/U Away||33-33-4||37-31-1|
Urias was initially suspended a few months ago in relation to a suspected domestic violence incident. A couple of weeks ago, Urias was suspended again by Major League Baseball after the league concluded an investigation into the matter. He officially got 20 games, but he only had to sit out for 15 over the last couple of weeks due to time already served.
He has pitched out of the Dodger bullpen for most of the year, but the Dodgers plan to move him into the rotation for the duration of the season. That move has moved Kenta Maeda from the rotation to the bullpen. Maeda earned a save on Monday night after pitching four innings in relief.
Urias has 27 appearances on the season, including six starts. He has gone 4-3 in those games with a 2.53 ERA. As a starter, he has a 3.55 ERA through just over 25 innings of work. The left-hander has a solid strikeout rate just over 24% on the season, and he has allowed six home runs in just under 68 innings of work.
He isn’t fully stretched out though, so the Dodgers’ plan is to have him throw about 45 pitches before giving way to some of the team’s bullpen hands. Urias has had a bit of a walk problem this season, but on Tuesday he’ll be facing what has been a largely terrible Colorado offense, especially whenever they’re away from Coors Field. Colorado’s projected lineup has a 22.4% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season, and Urias will hold the platoon advantage against some of their better hitters (Charlie Blackmon, Daniel Murphy, Ryan McMahon).
Things went awry very quickly for the Rockies after the All-Star break. They have gotten terrible starting pitching for most of the year, and recently they have had to rely on Chi Chi Gonzalez to fill a rotation spot. Gonzalez was once a decent prospect with the Rangers, but he has had almost zero success at the big league level to this point in his career.
Through nine appearances with the Rockies this season, Gonzalez is 0-6 with an 8.07 ERA. His SIERA of 6.47 is also exceptionally bad. Gonzalez has a painfully low strikeout rate of just under 12%, and his walk rate is pushing 13%. Any pitcher with a walk rate higher than his strikeout rate is going to enjoy very little success at the major league level.
Gonzalez has struggled against hitters from both sides of the plate, but lefties have given him even more issues. Left-handed hitters have a .435 wOBA with four homers against Gonzalez in a very limited sample. The right-hander’s 7.71 xFIP and walk rate north of 20% against lefties are also incredibly awful. The Dodgers are without Max Muncy right now, but they can still throw a number of potent left-handed hitters his way, including Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and new call-up Gavin Lux.
This just looks like another lopsided matchup. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies got a few runs at the expense of Urias and the Dodger bullpen, but I see little reason to believe the Dodger hitters won’t crush the vulnerable Chi Chi Gonzalez. The Rockies have lost all nine games in which Gonzalez has pitched so far this season, and I imagine that streak will reach double figures tonight.
There isn’t any reason to bet on the Dodgers at -310 to win the game, but I do like the value in taking them to cover the runline at -150. I also think the over on 10 runs is very attainable, especially considering it’s expected to be another warm night near downtown Los Angeles. As we saw last night, the ball flies here when the temps creep toward triple digits.
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