NL West merry-go-round hits Colorado
September 12, 2018 3:00 AM
by Ramon Scott
With under 20 games remaining in the season, the Colorado Rockies are the latest team to take their turn atop the National League West.
The Rockies spent a little time in first so far this season, especially early on, but the point to make here is manager Bud Black has guided this team to the top spot this late.
Colorado, which has never won a division title, hasn’t been in first place after August since 1995.
The L.A. Dodgers just won a weekend series at Coors Field, 2-1, and were still a $2 dollar favorite to overtake the Rockies, who led by 1.5 games heading into Tuesday, while Colorado was returning 2.5-to-1 to win the division. Arizona slipped to nearly 5-to-1 after falling 3.5 games behind after Monday’s 13-2 thumping by the Rockies.
The Rockies and Diamondbacks continue a three-game set Tuesday and Wednesday night.
All this while star Nolan Arenado tries to play through a hurt shoulder and has found himself on the bench after a recent slump. Arenado says the shoulder only bothers him while throwing but his results say otherwise.
Despite being 15 games over .500, the Rockies have a -11 run-differential, a rarity for playoff qualifiers. But right now, the Rockies are showing a lot of moxie in their drive for their first division banner, as they have won eight of their last 10 games coming off a loss.
INDIANS (+140, 7) at RAYS (Wed., 10:10): Cleveland is 4-0 this season in Carlos Carrasco’s daytime starts on the road; he’s held the expected Rays’ lineup to an average under .225 in close to 50 trips to the plate. Rays’ Blake Snell is 9-1 at home and up 11.25 units overall this season. He has a 1.40 ERA in three home day game starts. TB, 3-2
YANKEES (-150, 8.5o20) at TWINS (Wed., 5:10): Luis Severino is up 6.75 units this season even though he appears to be showing signs of fatigue over the month-plus. Still, he has a season ERA of 3.52. It hasn’t worked out for Jake Odorizzi in Minnesota, as he’s been consistently mediocre for the Twins, but he’s held these Yanks bats to around a .210 avg. NYY, 5-3
MARINERS (-108, 8) at ANGELS (Thu., 7:05): Mariners’ LH James Paxton is 6-2 with a 4.24 ERA on the road. He’s held these Angel bats to a .225 avg. in about 100 ABs and struck out 18 over his last two starts against the A’s and Yanks. Angels’ Matt Shoemaker has held these M’s bats to around .220 in well over 125 ABs. SEA, 4-3
REDS (+160) at CUBS (Fri., 11:20): Reviews appeared positive on Matt Harvey, but are mixed of late. Still, he struck out 10 last time against San Diego and has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last six starts. Cubs’ LH Mike Montgomery has held these Reds to about a .225 mark in over 100 ABs. He’s got a 4.43 road ERA. CUBS -1.5
PIT PIRATES (+135, 8o20) at BREWERS (Fri., 5:10): It’s been a tough adjustment for the Bucs’ Chris Archer since coming to Pittsburgh and these Milwaukee batters hit over .300 against him in close to 125 PAs. The Brewers got a great start from newcomer Gio Gonzalez, allowing one unearned run in 5-2/3 innings, striking out seven against the Giants at home. MIL, 5-4
NATIONALS (+150, 8.5) at BRAVES (Sat., 10:05): Former Las Vegas High star Erick Fedde goes up against the Braves for the first time, coming off a start on Tuesday at Philadelphia, as he had an 8.10 ERA on the road going in. The Braves’ Julio Teheran has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts but allows a .320 average to this group. ATL, 5-3
METS (+120, 8.5) at RED SOX (Sat., 1:05): Noah Syndergaard is 11-3 but these Sox bats have hit over .400 against him about three times. Thor’s been the Mets’ most profitable pitcher, up 5.5 units. Boston goes with Rick Porcello, up 7.25 units despite a 4.27 ERA this season, allowing three or more ER in four of his last five starts. BOS, 4-3
MIA MARLINS (+140, 9u20) at PHILLIES (Sat., 4:05): Philly’s Vince Velasquez is down six units this season and has an ERA just over five at home. He’s held the Marlins to around a .230 avg. in close to 75 at-bats. Marlins’ Jose Urena has turned in strong outings in two of his last three starts, but inconsistency makes him a tough read. PHL, 5-4
DIAMONDBACKS (+125, 8o15) at ASTROS (Sun., 11:10): Justin Verlander struck out 10 in his return to Detroit on Monday as the Astros managed to get the money despite a line as high as -350. Verlander is a big loser at -15 units. The D’backs’ Zack Greinke has an ERA just over three overall heading into his start on Tuesday at Colorado. HOU, 3-2
COL ROCKIES (+120, 8o20) at GIANTS (Sun., 1): Antonio Senzatela, coming off a home start against the Diamondbacks, goes for the Rockies but he’s just 1-4 on the road this season; hasn’t won in five straight starts. Giants’ Dereck Rodriguez has been impressive with his 2.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP so far, with nary a clunker to report. SF, 4-3
LA DODGERS (+105, 8.5) at CARDINALS (Sun., 5:05): Adam Wainwright returned on Monday, going five innings, allowing four earned runs as the Cards won 8-7 after taking steam and winding up -133. Dodgers go with lefty Alex Wood, who had a 3.22 ERA on the road and is down 6.75 units overall. These Cards hit .333 against him in close to 50 PAs. STL, 4-3