Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 3:21 PM
The Colorado Rockies are crushing it right now, on the field and more importantly, for bettors. If you simply bet the Rockies each game this season you’d be showing a profit of (+$1446), a figure that’s the best in the majors with more than a couple hundred bucks to spare.
Just as noteworthy is that Colorado has handled the favorite’s role, an important factor for betting this team as the surprise factor wears off and sportsbooks adjust to their 27-16 record and two-game lead in the NL West. The Rockies are 11-6 as a favorite. They’ve also handled the road, earning a (+$1028) profit away from Coors Field—again, no small factor for a team with such an unusual home park situation due to the friendly hitting conditions.
All of the above is both interesting and important, but for Colorado to continue to generate wins and profits throughout the summer, they’ll need consistent pitching. To that end, the fact the Rockies rank seventh in the National League in ERA is a positive sign.
The atmosphere of Coors Field precludes any Colorado staff from looking great in the numbers, but in recent years, the difference between hitting and pitching has been very extreme. With this season’s offense ranking fifth in the NL in runs scored there’s more balance, something that has helped the team continue to win when they’re on the road.
Two young arms key the rotation. Antonio Senzatela is just 22-years-old and has posted a 3.31 ERA in eight starts. 24-year-old Kyle Freeland has a 3.13 ERA in his eight starts. The bullpen is showing excellent depth, anchored by closer Greg Holland. A veteran of Kansas City’s great bullpens in their 2014-15 World Series teams, Holland has rebounded from injury to record 18 saves with a dazzling 1.02 ERA.
Offensively, the Rockies continue to be led by Nolan Arenado, arguably the best third baseman in the game, but who has played in the shadows with Colorado a non-contender in recent seasons. Arenado is batting .304 with 11 home runs while playing some outstanding defense. He can be fully expected to perform at or near an MVP level for the season.
There’s less reason to be confident in the great starts by Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds, who are each slugging over .600. But even if that pace doesn’t hold, Blackmon is still a steady bat in the outfield. And Reynolds, a pure boom-or-bust slugger, was tailor-made to hit in Coors Field. Even if one of them slumps, Colorado can be expect better things from Carlos Gonzalez, off to a slow start.
So is this reason to jump on the Rockies’ bandwagon? Be careful. The fact the best pitchers are as young as they are is reason for caution. What could help Colorado’s cause, at least for bettors, would be if Los Angeles can move into first in the NL West and enable the Rockies to be a little more under the radar, and possibly of better value.