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May 18, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Tonight's pick risks 2% of the bankroll.
 

Take Philadelphia Phillies (-110) on the Money Line against Colorado Rockies risking 2%.
(Hamels and Lyles must start for wager to have action)

Both of these teams have struggled for much of the early part of the season. Philadelphia currently occupies the basement in the competitive NL East, while the Rockies occupy last place in the NL West. While both teams have struggled, it has been the Phillies who have been playing the much better baseball as of late. They come into this game on a season high 5 game winning streak and while they have not necessarily been a team that has been known for their offensive prowess and has mostly relied on stellar pitching to win ball games in seasons past, they are seeing the ball extremely well during this recent winning streak. Over their last 5 games they have averaged nearly 10 hits per game and are scoring an average of 5 runs per contest. They are playing at an elite level at the moment and should have quite a bit of success tonight against a struggling Rockies team. 

The Colorado Rockies come into this contest having lost 13 of their last 15 games. In past seasons, the Rockies have been known for their powerful offense and their ability to put runs across the plate, especially when it came to playing at home in Coors field. While their offense is always a potential threat, their lack of quality pitching has made it extremely tough, even on their prolific offense. Their lack of pitching has certainly been their downfall this season. The Rockies lack that true "Ace" in their rotation and the pitchers that they currently have on staff would likely not make the bullpen rotation on some other teams in the league. To say they are struggling would be an understatement. Their starting rotation has a combined ERA of 4.00+. They simply cannot get quality starts from their rotation. Their bullpen hasn't exactly been reliable either as they have a combined ERA of 4.55 so far this season. If their pitching continues to struggle, the hot bats of the Phillies will surely be able to take advantage. 

The strength of this Phillies team has always been their pitching and that should be the case tonight as they send veteran Cole Hamels to the mound. Hamels has been at the top of his game in back to back outings where he allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out 17 over 14 innings. Even though he is getting up there in age, he still has impressive control of his pitches and the ability to keep batters guessing. In 51 innings pitched so far this season, Hamels has an impressive 55 strikeouts on his resume! 

The Rockies will send Jordan Lyles to the mound tonight. Lyles has been struggling in his last couple of starts having given up a combined 10 runs in on 11 hits while walking 6 in just 12 innings of action. He was scheduled to make a start against the LA Angels on 5/13; however he left after being struck in the hand in the first inning. It's unclear if Lyles' injury is completely healed or if there are any lingering effects. If there are, it could certainly have a negative effect on the way he performs tonight. It's also been 12 days since his last full start so there is a chance that he comes to the mound with a bit of rust. Given the way the Phillies have been crushing the ball lately, this could spell disaster for Lyles tonight. 

The Phillies have had their fair share of struggles on the road this season so to see the odds makers list them as the favorites, especially at Coors Field says a lot about how they expect this game to play out. Philadelphia has the better pitching and the hotter bats at the moment; to get them at this cheap price shows a lot of value. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Philadelphia is 36-15 in the last 51 meetings.
  • Rockies are just 1-5 in Lyles’ last 6 starts.
  • Rockies are just 2-7 against left handed pitchers this season!



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