Colorado Rockies (27-31) AT San Diego Padres (27-33)
June 6th, 2011 at 10:05 PM EST
Opening Line: SDG -105, COL -115
Current Line: COL -112, SDG +102
Opening Total: 7
Current Total: 6.5
SP: COL- Clayton Mortenson; SDG- Clayton Richard
Fates and fortunes couldn’t run much more opposite than these two teams. The Padres, after starting the season 19-31, have won 8 of their last 10 games. The Rockies, meanwhile, have lost 12 of their last 16 to go from 4 games over .500 to 4 games under.
San Diego won their third game in a row over the Astros on Sunday, by a count of 7-2. The amazing thing, perhaps, is that the Padres haven’t been hitting that well and still have been winning. 4.2 runs and a .259 BA isn’t sensational, of course, but it’s worlds better than the 1.3 runs and .183 BA they posted earlier in a 10 game stretch in which they lost 8.
“We have been playing a lot better, more like we are capable of playing and how we want to play,” Chase Headley gloated. “Fortunately, we didn’t play bad enough that we played ourselves out of it early. We are still within striking distance. I like the way we’re playing.”
While the Padres play hasn’t propelled them out of the cellar, they have pulled to within 6.5 games of San Francisco, which represents the smallest difference between first and last place teams in all divisions. The problem for the Padres has been their 12-21 record at home, while they are a respectable 15-12 on the road.
Since the series in mid-May, in which the Padres won 2 of 3, the Rockies have cooled off considerably. In Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Giants, the Rockies managed only 4 hits and they have scored 3 runs or fewer in 11 of their last 12.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy didn’t make any convoluted or esoteric response to the struggles, simply saying “Got to hit, that’s all I’ve got…You give up two runs, you should win. It’s that simple. We gave up six runs in the series but we only scored four.”
It doesn’t help when the leadoff batter (Eric Young) is batting .190 over his last 6 games, not to mention his six strikeouts, and Todd Helton has been less than impressive too with an even more pitiful .077 BA over the last five games.
Facing Clayton Richard might help. He gave up 3 runs and 8 hits in less than 5 innings last Wednesday against the Braves and his ERA of 4.52 leaves a little to be desired. It’s his first start against the Rockies in 2011, but he faced them 6 times last season, going 1-2 with a 6.15 ERA, though he won his only decision at home where he posted a much better 3.00 ERA. Todd Helton should pull out of his slump today, given the fact that he is hitting .429 lifetime against Richard. Tulowitzki has been even more impressive against Richard, hitting .583 with 3 HRs in 12 at bats.
Clay Mortenson will take the mound for the Rockies. He’s 1-3 on the year with a 3.69 ERA and has never faced the Padres before. He gave up 5 runs in 4 innings in Tuesday night’s 8-2 loss against the Dodgers. In his last 3 starts, he has struggled, posting a 5.94 ERA. He’s known to have a good ground ball ratio, but was cut by the A’s last season as they cleared a spot for Grant Balfour. If he can keep the ball on the ground, the Rockies stand a great chance tonight.
Some betting trends:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Colorado’s last 5 games and the Rockies are 3-9 SU in their last 12 games. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 on the road while the Rockies are 3-12 SU in their last 15 on the road. The total has gone OVER in all 5 of the last 5 against the Padres and the Rockies are 2-4 SU in their last 6 against San Diego. The total has gone OVER in 5 of the last 7 games on the road in San Diego and the Padres are 6-1 SU in their last 7 road games against San Diego.
San Diego is 7-2 SU in their last 9 game and the total has gone OVER in 4 of theirl ast 6 games. The Padres are 4-1 SU in their last 5 at home and they are 4-2 SU in their last 6 against the Colorado Rockies. The total has gone OVER in all 5 of their last 5 games against the Rockies and the Padres are 1-6 SU in their last 7 at home against Colorado. The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 home games against the Rockies.
It should be interesting to see how Mortenson handles the Padres. He’s inexperienced and young, but has shown good stuff and has great control over the ball. Clayton Richard has struggled, and the Rockies have had good success against him. The line for this game is pretty even, but given the Richards’ struggles, I would have to favor the Rockies in this one.