It’s the opening game of a short interleague set on the diamond in the Rocky Mountains. The Houston Astros are on the road as they open up a two-game set with the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night. Houston dropped the rubber game of their three-game road set against the Mariners as they fell 7-2 Sunday afternoon. Colorado came up on the short end in the rubber game of their three-game set at home against the Mets as they fell 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Last season, the Astros swept all four meetings between the teams, winning twice at home and twice on the road, including a 10-8 win here in the most recent meeting on August 20, 2020.
Houston Astros Hoping to Reverse Recent StrugglesHouston lost for the seventh time in eight games as they fell in the rubber game of their three-game set in the Pacific Northwest against the Mariners. The Astros entered Monday fourth in the AL West standings, 2.5 games behind the Mariners for the top spot in the division. On Sunday, Houston had more baserunners from errors (three) and walks (two) than they did hits. The Astros finished with just one hit in the game, an RBI double by Aledmys Diaz in the second inning. Houston’s lack of offensive production made a loser of Jake Odorizzi (0-2), who threw 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Lance McCullers Jr. is expected to take the ball and make his fourth start of the year for the Astros in this contest. He is 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA, a 1.244 WHIP, nine walks and 16 strikeouts over 13.2 innings of work this season. McCullers Jr. took the loss in his last start, which came against the Tigers at home Wednesday. He threw 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a 6-4 Astros defeat. McCullers Jr., in his 98th career major league appearance and his 95th start, pitches against the Rockies for the first time. As a result, this will be his first career start at Coors Field as well.
Colorado Rockies Look to Get Back to Winning WaysColorado, much like Houston, has struggled of late as they lost for the eighth time in nine games Sunday against the Mets. The Rockies entered Monday in the basement of the NL West, nine games behind the Dodgers for the top spot. Against New York Sunday, Colorado was held to just four hits with Trevor Story (run) recording a pair of them. Charlie Blackmon had an RBI single in the seventh inning to plate the lone run for the Rockies. Story was gunned down trying to steal second base for the game’s final out. The lack of offense sent Antonio Senzatela (1-3) to the loss despite a quality start. He threw six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Everything about this play was perfect 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ndRT9XU1Qt— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 18, 2021
Jon Gray is projected to take the mound for his fourth start of the year in this contest. He comes in 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA, a 1.149 WHIP, seven walks and 15 strikeouts over 15.2 innings of work on the year. Gray took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Dodgers Wednesday. He threw four innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 4-2 Rockies defeat. Gray didn’t factor in the decision in his lone career start against the Astros, which came at home on July 25, 2018. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit with two walks and six strikeouts in a game the Rockies went on to win 3-2. Gray is 27-13 with a 4.55 ERA, a 1.303 WHIP, 97 walks and 347 strikeouts over 350 innings in 63 career appearances, 62 starts, at Coors Field.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Astros are 0-5 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in their previous game
- Rockies are 5-1 in Gray's last 6 interleague starts
- Rockies are 4-1 in Gray's last 5 starts vs. American League West teams
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Both teams have really sputtered of late. For Colorado, that’s been a season-long trend, but Houston started the year 6-1 before losing seven of their last eight. Their lone win in that stretch was a 1-0 victory over Seattle on Saturday. McCullers Jr. has struggled this season as he’s been battered around a bit by opposing hitters, who have a 62.5% hard-hit ball rate against him this season. While it’s resulted in just a .167 average overall and a .226 mark on balls in play, he’s walked nine of the 60 hitters he’s faced. Colorado is sputtering a bit but Gray has pitched well in his outings this season. Based on the edge in starting pitcher, give the Rockies a slim advantage in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Houston entered Monday’s contest having seen the over post a 9-5-1 mark this season. The Astros are seventh in the majors by averaging 4.80 runs per contest this season. Houston is 16th in run prevention by allowing an average of 4.40 runs per game, giving them an average total of 9.20 runs per contest. Colorado has seen the under hit in 10 of their 16 games this season, with one push. The Rockies are 17th in the majors by averaging 4.12 runs per game though they are infinitely better at home (5.50 runs/game) than the road (1.83 runs/game) this season. Colorado is 21st in the majors as they allow an average of 4.75 runs per game, creating an average of 8.87 runs per game. With both teams struggling at the plate a bit of late, this one ends up falling short of the mark.