Colorado will wrap up its three-game series in Miami with an afternoon game on Thursday. The Rockies came up just short to open the series on Tuesday, falling in a 9-8 thriller. This story was published prior to Wednesday night’s game.
Rockies need to get back to winning formColorado went through a lengthy losing stretch in May, dropping eight games in a nine-game stretch. The Rockies have been struggling overall since getting off to a 15-10 start, falling 10 games under .500 last Thursday. They bounced back with a surprising sweep at home against San Diego before losing Tuesday’s thrilling opener to this series. Colorado is now sitting in last place in the National League West, trailing the Dodgers by 12 games. The Rockies are 8.5 games back of the final NL Wild Card spot, so they cannot afford to keep losing at their current rate.
🔥HOT CORNER STAYS HOT🔥 pic.twitter.com/EkDMwSxNrQ— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 22, 2022
They have been an outstanding offensive team this season, leading the MLB with a batting average of .262. First baseman C.J. Cron has 81 hits, including a team-high 17 home runs. He will be facing a Miami pitching staff that is No. 16 with an ERA of 3.95. Left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland is expected to start for Colorado on Thursday afternoon. He allowed four runs on eight hits across seven innings against San Diego his last time out, earning his second consecutive win. Freeland threw 56 of 82 pitches for strikes and was backed up by a 10-run day from his offense. He has been an up-and-down starter this season, bringing a 3-5 record and 4.46 ERA into this start.
Marlins also on edge of playoff raceMiami put together a nice five-game winning streak at the beginning of June, but it has struggled to maintain any form since then. The Marlins lost six of their next eight games before bouncing back with a 9-8 win over Colorado on Tuesday. They are amid a six-game homestand that will wrap up with three games against New York this coming weekend. Miami is currently sitting in fourth place in the NL East, trailing the Mets by 13 games. The Marlins are also teetering on the edge of relevancy in the NL Wild Card race, sitting 7.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot.
They have been a decent offensive team, ranked No. 14 in batting average (.243). First baseman Garrett Cooper leads the way with 65 hits and a .310 average. First baseman Jesus Aguilar has added 57 hits. They will be facing a Colorado pitching staff that ranks No. 26 with an ERA of 4.94. Southpaw Braxton Garrett is expected to take the mound for Miami on Thursday. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks against the Mets in his last outing, taking the loss. Garrett threw 44 of 75 pitches for strikes, with his major mistake coming on a two-run home run from Francisco Lindor in the third inning. The left-hander brings a 4.85 ERA and 1.54 WHIP through three starts in the backend of the rotation into this contest.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Colorado is not a team that I want to back on the road. The Rockies rely on their strong offense to win games, but they are significantly weaker without their altitude advantage at Coors Field. They do not have the pitching to hold up in other environments. Miami has a winning record at home this season, while Colorado is 11-19 on the road. Freeland has struggled with consistency, and I do not have any interest in backing him in this game. Garrett has held up in the backend of the Miami rotation, and he simply needs to limit the damage to put his team in a nice spot to win this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have gone over the total in seven of their last eight head-to-head meetings, but I am going to fade that trend on Thursday. Colorado leads the majors in batting average, but this is a completely different spot on the road. The Rockies do not have the friendly confines of Coors Field to help them out. Meanwhile, Miami has been an average offensive team, so I am not worried about them hanging a crooked number against Freeland. This should be a pretty low-scoring game.