By virtue of their 2-1 win on Wednesday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks jumped into second place in the NL West. The team that was out of the blocks the fastest in the NL West, the Colorado Rockies are stuck at just .500 now, and they'll hope to avoid the drop below the Mason-Dixon Line on Thursday when these two divisional foes meet up in an MLB betting battle shown live on the MLB Network.
Where on earth did the D'Backs come from? All of a sudden, they've won 10 of their last 12 games, and they have stormed back into contention in the NL West race. Even more important is that they are winning close games, as they have won five straight one run decisions, something that really plagued this club last year. For just the second time this season, Micah Owings is going to be taking the mound for the D'Backs. He really didn't do much to help the team beat the Minnesota Twins five days ago, as he allowed four runs in 5.1 innings of work in the 9-6 victory. This is the second stint with Arizona for Owings, who was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2005. He is more known for his bat (he's batting .290 for his career) than his arm though, which is bad news for MLB betting fans. Owings is just 24-31 for his career with a 5.11 ERA, numbers which certainly don't warrant backing on a regular basis.
Colorado, on the other hand, has been going in the wrong direction and has gone from taking a commanding lead in the division to the verge of destruction, and now that Jorge De La Rosa is on the DL for the season with a torn elbow ligament, there is reason for concern in the Mile High City. Now, to make matters worse, on Thursday, arguably the biggest question mark in the rotation, Clayton Mortensen is going to be on the mound against one of the hottest teams in the game. Mortensen is just 26 years old, and he is making only his 15th appearance and his 11th start in his career. He is 3-5 with a 4.93 ERA on his career, but this season, he has done a great job keeping his ERA down to just 2.17. Batters are only hitting .186 against him, but he has far too many walks (12) for having thrown just 29.0 innings of work. Of course, it would really help Mortensen out if the Rockies could have another outburst like they did in the first half of the double header two days ago. Aside from that 12 runs, Colorado has only scored a total of six runs in its previous four games.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies Pick: This is an ugly, ugly pitching matchup, and we really aren't wild over backing either pitcher. However, knowing that there is basically an extra bat in the lineup, we'll take Owings over the youthful Mortensen. Don't be surprised if this turns out to be a 50/50 proposition, and with that being the case, we'll go with the Diamondbacks +145 every single time on the MLB lines.