Coors’ impact lingers for visiting MLB teams

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We’re all aware of how teams from the Mile High City have an advantage over their guests, whether it’s the Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche or Rockies.

Sitting 5,280 feet above sea level, at an altitude that can affect visitors’ bodies, Denver has the highest elevation of any major U.S. city. And that, conceivably, gives the city’s pro sports quartet a subtle edge.

But forget for a moment about teams playing in Denver, I want to talk about baseball teams once they’ve left town. Specifically, how they perform immediately afterward.

The Rockies came into the week having hosted nine teams this season – seven from the National League and two from the American – including the Arizona Diamondbacks twice. And in those 10 home series, the opposing team is an eye-popping 2-8 in its first game after a series at Coors Field.

It doesn’t matter whether that first game is one day after leaving Denver, or two, the results are glaring. National League teams are 0-8, while the two American League guests – the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays – are 2-0.

A $100 bettor has made approximately $630 investing in this pattern. And if you eliminate the interleague games, that same $100 bettor has made approximately $925.

The Rockies hadn’t hosted any N.L. Central teams before opening the week with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs travel to Los Angeles on Thursday for a four-game set with the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

Colorado still has home series against San Diego (twice), the Dodgers (twice), Houston, Cincinnati, San Francisco (twice), Arizona, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, the New York Mets and Milwaukee.

And while I encourage you to keep an eye on each team’s first game out of Denver with all of these series, the one game you may want to look for incredible value with is on Aug. 27, when the Braves visit the Blue Jays.

When Atlanta visited the Rockies in April, one of the games was postponed. So, the scheduled make-up game in Denver is Aug. 26, after the Braves play three in Queens against the Mets, and just before two in Toronto. Those six games will be played over six days. If you revert back to the final three games of a nine-game homestand, the 27th in Toronto will mark the Braves’ eighth game in as many days. And from Atlanta, to New York, to Denver, to Toronto, the Braves will have traveled 3,336 miles.

If there were ever a game to look forward to, one you’re building some profit to invest later this season, this could be a nice kill shot as you transition into football.

Until then, enjoy this mile-high trend as long as it stays hot.

Now, after a 2-1 showing last week, let’s look at what this weekend has to offer.

Thursday

Pirates at Braves: Let’s open the week at SunTrust Park, where I’m going to play the Braves against Pittsburgh in what should be a pitching mismatch. The line could be steep, so we’ll play this one on the run line with Pittsburgh handing the ball to Joe Musgrove and the Braves giving Julio Teheran the nod.

Musgrove, who was ejected after throwing 18 pitches in the first inning on Monday, pitched into the ninth inning against Atlanta in his last full start on June 5. Now he gets another chance after his 94 mile per hour fastball skimmed Josh Donaldson’s jersey Monday and then shared a heated exchange with the Braves’ third baseman. Both were tossed after the benches cleared.

Atlanta’s lineup will be fired up for this one. Teheran, meanwhile, has been one of the hottest pitchers in the bigs since the start of May. Since May 5, the right-hander has the second-lowest ERA in baseball (0.70), allowing one earned run or fewer in seven starts over that span. Lay the 1.5 runs. BRAVES RUN LINE

Rangers at Red Sox: We’re going to take a shot with the Rangers in this one, as I like this kid Adrian Sampson and his chance to outpitch David Price. Texas’ 27-year-old right-hander will be five days short of the third anniversary of his Major League debut and steps to the hill with a 5-0 mark, a 1.99 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP over his last five appearances – three in relief – spanning 31 2/3 innings. It’s his first start against the Red Sox, so I expect him to come out firing after being called up to be the long-man for the Rangers bullpen, but turning into a model of consistency.

Price, meanwhile, has gone 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts, but is 4-6 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career starts against the Rangers. Texas has been hitting the ball well lately, and used a 21-15 run to surge into second place in the American League West. Look for the Rangers to close this series with a victory. RANGERS

Friday

Phillies at Braves: It’s a battle for first place in the National League East, as the Braves hope to continue the momentum that helped them join the Phillies atop the division earlier this week.

The teams were tied for first on Tuesday morning, and the Phillies will be looking to open this series with a statement when they hand the ball to right-hander Nick Pivetta. That’s who I’m putting all the pressure on for this one, as the 26-year-old Canadian has been splendid since rejoining the rotation.

Pivetta has allowed just four runs in 20 innings — spanning three starts for a 1.80 ERA — including the first complete game of his career last Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds. He’s allowed just one run in his last 19 innings and will be up to the task at SunTrust Park. PHILLIES

Last week: 2-1

Season: 18-11

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About the Author

W.G. Ramirez

W.G. Ramirez is a 32-year veteran covering sports in Southern Nevada, and resident of 46 years. He is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada correspondent for The Associated Press.

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