Baltimore Orioles at Colorado Rockies
First pitch: 6:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Andrew Cashner (4-2, 4.14 ERA) vs. Kyle Freeland (2-5, 6.02 ERA)
By now, most of the league’s surprisingly disappointing pitchers this season — like Chris Sale, Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer — have gotten beyond their struggles and are looking more like their normal selves.
For others, that hasn’t quite happened yet. While Freeland isn’t at the same level as the aforementioned three perennial Cy Young candidates, his rough start to the campaign is certainly noteworthy.
Last year, the third-year left-hander was nearly an All-Star, ultimately going 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA — not to mention his terrific performance for the Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game.
It’s been a tale of two seasons for Freeland given how his 2019 has looked. Entering tonight’s assignment, he’s 2-5 with a 6.02 ERA. However, we know he’s better than that and it’s only a matter of time before he gets in a groove.
Although most would prefer not to work from the distinct hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field, Freeland apparently doesn’t mind it, and in fact, has thrived in Colorado. During his breakout campaign of a year ago, the 2014 first-round draft pick posted an ERA nearly a full run lower at home (2.40 ERA) compared to on the road (3.23 ERA). He’s a hometown kid, so that potentially factors in as well.
A matchup opposite the Orioles can be of use for most pitchers, as they rank in the bottom-quarter of baseball in many key offensive categories. Most beneficiary for a guy like Freeland that can sometimes issue too many free passes, Baltimore is dead-last in the American League in walks per game (2.59). They’re also 25th in team on-base percentage (.297) against lefties.
There haven’t been many bright spots for the last-place O’s but the veteran Cashner has actually been one. His overall numbers on the season are very respectable (4-2, 4.14 ERA, .242 batting average against), mostly thanks to this solid stretch he’s in at he moment that has seen the right-hander churn out three consecutive quality starts.
Cashner’s experience from pitching in the NL West for five years can serve to help him navigate the treacherous waters at Coors this evening. With the over/under as high as it is, clocking in with something even slightly below another quality start could be helpful. Play: UNDER 12
Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Angels Under 9.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 30-24-3, +3.3 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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