Monday MLB Preview – Rockies at Phillies

The Phillies have a chance of picking up their first-ever four-game sweep of the Rockies on Monday afternoon.

Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies

Colorado fell to 2-8 on its current road trip after a 4-3 defeat on Sunday afternoon against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.  The Rockies have dropped to fourth place in the NL West standings and trails the Padres by 7.5 games.  The offense left 12 men on base Sunday and were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  “You don’t put yourself in a favorable position when you strand 12 runners,” manager Jim Tracy said.  Part of the problem this season has been the lineup’s ineffectiveness with runners in scoring position and two outs, hitting .223 in the situation this season, which ranks 13th in the league.  Colorado is 19-16 during day games this season (+160) with the total being 11-23 O/U in those games.

Rockies starting pitcher Jason Hammel is 7-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 17 starts this season (+10), but has dropped his last two outings.  In his last two starts, the right-hander has allowed eight runs and 14 hits over 14 innings in a pair of road losses to the Marlins and Reds.  He is 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA in seven road starts, managing to issue just 10 walks while striking out 37 in 42 frames.  Hammel has made just two daytime appearances in 2010, posting a 1-0 record and 2.92 ERA.  In two career outings versus the Phillies, he is 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA, giving up five runs and 14 hits over 9.1 innings of work.

Philadelphia has won four straight games and scored 20 runs in the first three games of this four-game set against Colorado.  The Phillies have also won seven straight at home, moving their record to 28-17 at Citizens Bank Park (+130).  Of their 16 home series in 2010, the club is has posted an 8-4-4 record.  Offensively, Philadelphia is hitting .258 with 62 home runs and 246 runs scored this season at home.  The unit has been led by first baseman Ryan Howard, who is hitting .372 with five home runs and 13 RBIs while enjoying an 11-game hitting streak.  The team is a disappointing 16-28 in day games this season (-920) and the total is 18-15 O/U in those contests.

Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton is 3-6 with a 6.03 ERA in 15 starts this season (-440), with the club losing his last two outings.  Over that span, he has allowed eight runs (six earned) and 12 hits over 14 innings, as the offense has provided just four runs of support.  He stands at an even 2-2 with a 5.36 ERA in seven home starts, allowing opponents to hit for a .313 combined average.  Blanton will be toeing the rubber for the 10th time during the day, posting a losing 2-3 mark and 6.43 ERA, giving up 12 home runs in 56 innings of work.  In 27 lifetime starts in July, the right-hander is 9-10 with a 4.52 ERA.

Bettors will find it hard to ignore the Rockies being 3-13 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (-980).  The visitors are also an even 32-32 against right-handers this season (-570).  Philadelphia is a solid 19-7 in Blanton’s last 26 starts as a home favorite.  The home team is also 7-2 in home umpire Jim Wolf’s last nine games behind the plate.

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