04/15/2014 08:45 AM
Colorado/San Diego over 3.5 -120
The Rockies (6-7) were fortunate salvaging the middle game of their 3 games series at San Francisco thanks to 6 pitchers hurling a 1-0 shutout. Monday night marks the first of 4 games against the San Diego Padres (5-7) who are coming off taking 2 of 3 in their Interleague series with the Detroit Tigers. Tyson Ross scattered a run on 6 hits through 7 IP and beat Max Scherzer, who despite strkiking out 10 gave up 4 ER over 5.
Colorado sends Jordan Lyles (2-0 3.86) to the hill this evening hoping to build on a strong start to the 2014 campaign. In his last start not only did he beat the Chicago White Sox 8-1 going 7 strong, but also belted 3 hits in as many plate appearances while driving in a couple of runs helping his own cause. Lyles might not be used to this after suffering 3 dismal seasons in Houston that saw him go a combined 14-29 with an ERA of 5.36. Lyles faces a Padres lineup that is no stranger to offensive swoons out of the gate. Averaging a tad under 3 runs per contest, San Diego is hitting a paltry .228 with Everth Cabrera (.347) as one of the few full-time bright spots. Yasmani Grandal (.391) has been used sparingly as he looks to fully recover from ACL surgery from last season. Xavier Nady and Seth Smith have each hit 2 HRS for the Pods this season, otherwise regulars like Chase Headley and Chris Denorfia are both off to anemic starts. Jedd Gyorko is about to sign a $32M extension for 6 years, which might enhance his struggling .163 mark at the plate over time.
San Diego counters with Eric Stults (0-2 5.59) who fared a lot better than his hurling-like batting practice opener in a loss to Miami. Still due to a lack of offensive support Stults took the loss last Wednesday against Cleveland 2-0 in what was the first game of a doubleheader. Stults might have had an opportunity to turn around his 11-13 mark with a manageable distribution of runs behind his mates, but tonight may face a challenge with hot hitting Colorado batting .300 thus far. Charlie Blackmon (.482 1 9) has a better than .700 slugging percentage looking more and more comfortable in the leadoff spot. Carlos Gonzalez (.313 4 13) homered yesterday and is well on pace to break last season's inconsistency with a target to remain healthy this season. Justin Morneau and Troy Tulowitzki are both hitting .325 and will look to make most of their opportunities to drive in runs from the heart of the lineup.
Another similar situation as Sunday getting a more expensive price at a lower line total. However, an added challenge is the presence of pitcher friendly Petco Park which is one of several NL West cathedrals when it comes to offense. Stults could very well have his hands full if he cannot be versatile with his pitches around a heavy hitting Rockies lineup. At the same time, Lyles, who had a tendency to pitch himself into trouble with Houston, will also look to be economical with his pitches in case he loses his consistency that has proved him successful over the first few outings. Best of luck however you play as we aim for 4 straight out of the gate!