The Arizona Diamondbacks will meet with the Colorado Rockies as the NL West foes conclude a three-game series in the Mile High City on Thursday afternoon. The Diamondbacks will send Merrill Kelly to the mound, and the Rockies will have Jon Gray on the hill. Each team won five games in last year’s season series. Arizona took Tuesday's series opener by a 10-8 score, and the Rockies answered with an 8-0 win on Wednesday.
Kelly Eyes Rebound After Rough Season Debut
Arizona concludes a seven-game road trip in this one. Merrill Kelly will make his second start of the season on Thursday. Kelly had trouble in his season debut against the stacked Padres lineup, squandering three runs and walked three in four innings, leading to a 4-2 defeat. The third-year right-hander was great in 2020, filing a fantastic 2.59 ERA and a dazzling 0.99 WHIP, however it was only in five outings spread across 31.1 innings. Kelly has struggled against the Rockies in his three career starts, posting a 7.64 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
Arizona lost their first three games of the season against the Padres and have rebounded with two straight wins entering Wednesday night. Nick Ahmed and Kole Calhoun are on the IL.
Watch for Ketel Marte who is enjoying a tremendous start to the season, accumulated 12 base hits leading to a dazzling .522 average accompanied by two homers and five RBI’s. The 27-year old second baseman made an impact against the Rockies last season, registering a .297 average to go with eight RBI’s in 37 at-bats, and went 3 for 7 in Tuesday’s winning effort.
The D-Backs rank 15th overall with an average of 4.40 runs per game. They own a 4.50 team ERA, positioning them 19th in MLB.
Gray Dazzles vs. Dodgers
The Rockies will have Jon Gray make his second start of the year in the series finale. Gray was stellar in his opening start against the Dodgers, allowing only one run on four hits in five innings, leading to a no-decision in a game the Rockies lost by a 6-5 score. The veteran right-hander had a season to forget in 2020 where he finished with a 6.69 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in eight starts. Gray is 4-5 with a poor 5.34 ERA in 12 career starts against Arizona.
The Rockies won their season opener against Kershaw and the Dodgers and have since lost four consecutive games entering Wednesday due mainly to subpar pitching.
3 at-bats.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 7, 2021
3 home runs.
Well, the Rockies no longer have Nolan Arenado and have now had two stars depart the franchise in the last three seasons. They still have a dangerous lineup which includes Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story. The veteran slugger has only collected five hits so far this season. Story hit .342 with six RBI’s in 38 at-bats against Arizona last season and went 0 for 5 on Tuesday night.
The Rockies are averaging 5.8 runs per game, good for 10th in the big leagues. They enter with a 5.51 team ERA, placing them at 24th overall.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are:
- 5-0 in Kelly's last 5 starts against a team with a losing record.
- 5-1 in Kelly's last 6 starts on five days of rest.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games against the Rockies entering Wednesday night.
The Colorado Rockies are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 games against the NL West.
- 3-7 in their last 10 games against a starter with a WHIP above 1.30.
- 1-5 in their last 6 home games against a right-handed starter.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Diamondbacks love to bat against Rockies’ starter Jon Gray. The right-hander has not been able to contain the division foes with any consistency as seen in his ugly 5.34 career ERA against Arizona. Several of the D-Backs’ top hitters are hitting over .300 in their career against the right-hander. Arizona scored nine runs on 14.1 hits in 9.1 innings against Gray in 2020.
Furthermore, the Rockies lineup doesn’t quite have that same punch without Nolan Arenado. The Rockies have lost four consecutive games overall entering Wednesday’s action due to awful pitching. Arizona is plus money in this one which is a great value.
Full-Game Total Pick
If you like offense this is the game for you. Arizona should do solid damage against Jon Gray who hasn’t been able to contain the D-Backs in his career. Arizona’s lineup is hitting a combined .340 against Gray. Arizona has scored four runs against Colorado’s bullpen in this series. The over is also 6-2 in the Rockies’ last eight games overall.
In addition, Colorado should make an impact against Merrill Kelly. The right-hander has not fared well in his career against the Rockies, carrying an ERA over 7. I expect him to do enough to propel his team to a win but he will give up runs. The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these foes.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Arizona offense should thrive at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Arizona accumulated a whopping 32 runs in three games at Coors Field last season and Jon Gray posted an ERA over eight at home in 2020. The D-Backs averaged a remarkable 7.4 runs against Colorado last year and have scored a respectable 10 runs in the first two games of this series.
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I am taking Arizona to score first. Arizona having the first at-bat is key in this game considering the D-Backs' success against Jon Gray. He posted a horrible 6.75 ERA in the opening inning last season. Also, the Rockies as a team have squandered five runs in the first frame in their six games.