The Colorado Rockies (21-28) will host the Miami Marlins (24-25) on Thursday as these teams wrap up a four-game series. The Rockies took the first two games of the series, winning 5-3 on Monday and 5-4 on Tuesday. Wednesday's contests was not yet complete at the time of this preview.
The MLB batting leader plays in MiamiThe Marlins have been struggling offensively this season, currently ranking last in the MLB in scoring overall and 28th on the road, averaging only 3.7 runs per game. Their performance in terms of road home runs per game is slightly better, placing them at 16th in the league. Leading the team in both home runs and RBI is Jorge Soler, who has hit 13 home runs and driven in 29 runs so far this season. Another man who has shined despite the Marlins' offensive struggles is Luis Arraez, who is having a sensational season at second base. Arraez currently holds the highest batting average in MLB, hitting an impressive .371.
Luis Arráez is a once-in-a-generation artist. He’s on pace to slug over .450 while hitting 5 or fewer home runs.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 24, 2023
Only 1 @MLB player has done that *in the last 70 years* in a season of 500+ PA.
Wade Boggs. He did so twice. And he’s in the @baseballhall.@Marlins @MLBNetwork
Taking the mound for the Marlins on Thursday will be 25-year-old left-handed pitcher Braxton Garrett. He has a record of 1-2 and an ERA of 4.60. Interestingly, Garrett has performed poorly in his home ballpark this season, but on the road, he has been strong, boasting a 2.52 ERA and a 1-1 record. In a previous matchup against the Rockies last season in Miami, Garrett allowed two runs (one earned) and nine hits in 4.2 innings. Notably, Garrett has never pitched at Coors Field before, adding an element of unfamiliarity to his upcoming start.
Rockies look to finish series strongOn Thursday, the Rockies will have Kyle Freeland (4-5, 3.88 ERA) starting. When pitching at home this season, Freeland has made six starts, going 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA. Out of his ten overall starts this season, two have been particularly poor, including a game last Saturday against Texas, where he allowed eight runs (five of them earned) in just two innings, resulting in an 11-5 loss. In total, Colorado holds a 4-6 record in Freeland's starts this season, with a 3-3 record at home.
No active player has as many triples as #Rockies DH Charlie Blackmon's 60. pic.twitter.com/cql6V9qvdS— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) May 25, 2023
Offensively, the Rockies have been struggling to showcase power, ranking 24th in terms of home runs per game when playing at home. Nevertheless, they have managed to maintain a decent scoring average of 5.1 runs per game at home, placing them seventh in the league. C.J Cron leads the team with six home runs, while Elias Diaz boasts the highest batting average of .345 and has contributed 24 RBI, which is the team's best performance in both categories.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Kyle Freeland broke into the big leagues with Colorado in 2017 and knows how to pitch at Coors Field. He also tends to bounce back well from poor outings. On the other side, Marlins starter Braxton Garrett is more of a wild card here, making his Coors Field debut. Miami is also just 3-13 in their last 16 games played in Colorado. The Marlins have hit lefties better than righties this season, yet they have still lost five of their last six games when facing a left-handed starter. I will back Colorado here.
Full-Game Total Pick
Even at Coors Field, getting to 12 runs will be a tall task for these two offenses to combine for. What Kyle Freeland is going to do from start to start can be difficult to predict, but overall he has had more positives than low moments. The Rockies have held their opponents to two runs or less in three of Freeland's last four starts and in five of his 10 starts overall. On the other side, Braxton Garrett has been strong on the road this season, and neither of these offenses has been setting the league on fire. The Rockies are actually the third-best under team in MLB, with just 20 of their first 49 games going over. The Marns are MLB's fourth under team, with only 20 of their first 49 games going over as well, along with two pushes. I like the under.