Colorado Rockies (15-7) AT Chicago Cubs (10-12)
April 26, 2011 at 8:05 PM EST
Opening Moneyline: COL -145, CHC +125
Current Moneyline: COL -137, +127
Opening Total: 11
Current Total: 12
SP: COL- Jorge De la Rosa, CHC- James Russell
Colorado comes into this game against the Cubs riding a 7 game winning streak, and while the Rockies won 7 straight in mid April, they have won just 4 of their last 9 since the streak. The Rockies played well Monday, winning 5-3, as they scored four unearned runs off Matt Garza and Starlin Castro made three errors in one inning (the 2nd), and another error by Garza in the 5th allowed the go ahead run. If the Cubs can’t clean up that fielding and field with efficiency, the Rockies will have their work cut out for them.
Garza sarcastically deprecated himself after the loss, commenting, “We lost tonight because I couldn’t throw the ball to first base.”
Colorado was 0 of 8 with runners in scoring position and had only 4 hits, 3 of which were singles. The Rockies are batting .139 in the first four games of their road trip, but even as bad as that has been, they have still managed to score 3 runs a game, an improbability given the poor batting average.
Jorge De La Rosa should prevent the Cubs from getting much run support, though, so 3 runs could be enough. De La Rosa’s ERA is 3.00 while his record stands at 3-0. He had an excellent 2009, recording 16 victories, but managed only 8 last season, partly because he missed May and June with a torn flexor band on his middle finger. Last season, he made the adjustment of throwing the curve ball less and throwing more sliders and changeups. The result was an improvement of his ground ball ratio as well as more strikeouts. De La Rosa’s PECOTA projection yields an 8-10 record with a 5.09 ERA, a projection that so far looks hopelessly pessimistic. It’s still early, but De La Rosa seems to have found his niche.
James Russell takes the mound for the Cubs. His ERA is a horrid 8.00 In his last outing last Wednesday, he gave up 4 runs and 7 hits. Three of the hits were home runs, as the Cubs lost 5-4 to the Padres, and Russell’s ERA over the last two games has ballooned to an absurd 12.71. Russell has made five relief appearances against the Rockies, and this season threw 1 1/3rds scoreless innings. Russell was not expected to be a starter this season, but has been forced into the rotation by injuries. Consequently, his PECOTA projections are based on a reserve role, and his ERA was predicted to be 6.04. He’s certainly made such a poor ERA look like a definite reality.
Some betting trends:
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Colorado’s last 16 games and the Rockies are 15-6 SU in their last 21 games. The total has gone OVER in 8 of the Rockies’ last 10 road games. The Rockies are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games on the road. The total has gone OVER In 6 of Colorado’s last 7 games and the Rockies are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games against the Cubs. The Rockies are 2-11 SU in their last 13 road games against the Cubs.
The total has gone OVER In all 5 of the Cubs’ last 5 games and the Cubs are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games. The total has gone OVER in all 5 of the Cubs’ last 5 home games and the Cubs are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games at home. The Cubs are 1-4 SU in their last 5 home games and the total has gone OVER in 6 of the Cubs’ last 7 games against the Rockies. The Cubs are 1-6 SU in their last 7 against the Colorado Rockies and the Cubs are 11-2 SU in their last 13 home games against the Rockies.
Colorado has struggled from the plate, but not nearly as bad as James Russell has struggled from the mound. The two may cancel one another out, but given Russell’s struggles, it is entirely possible that the Rockies reel off 7 or more runs in today’s game.