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July 19, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Colorado Rockies (-140) on the ML against Tampa Bay Rays risking 4.2% to win 3%.
(Chatwood and Snell must both start for wager to have action)

Rookie Blake Snell may have a bright future ahead of him but he's facing what we believe is the toughest test of his young pitching career tonight. That's because he's not only starting his first ever inter-league game, which will see him pick up a bat and try to swing but he also has to pitch in the thin Denver air and the notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark that is Coors Field! Add in the fact that his team is in a huge downward spiral with nothing to play for and it becomes evidently clear that this is Colorado's game to lose.

Much like Monday's starter, Drew Smyly, Blake Snell is a talented left-handed pitcher with some good stuff. However, much like the aforementioned Smyly, he's also been inconsistent and has had his fair share of troubles. While his ERA is respectable, his 1.58 WHIP paints a more accurate picture of how many 'jams' he's been in. So far he's been able to strand over 77% of base-runners thanks to some lucky bounces but against the hot-hitting Rox, in what is a challenging venue to pitch in, he may not be able to get away with mistakes. Colorado has players that are able to take the ball deep and change the complexion of a game with one swing and we believe facing the likes of Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu, not to mention experienced hitters like Ryan Raburn and Mark Reynolds will prove difficult for him! Let's not forget that this is only his 7th start in the Majors and he still has a lot to learn at this level.

Manager Walt Weiss was adamant about the importance of this current homestand at the All-Star break. Given that they are playing in front of their home fans and are still in the hunt for a potential Wild Card spot, he expressed urgency in putting together a winning streak prior to the August 1st trade deadline! So far, the Rox have have responded by winning 3 of 4 games after the break, with the lone loss coming by 1-run in a series that they had already clinched in Atlanta. Playing a Tampa team that has lost 25 of its last 29 games and has lost all hopes of salvaging anything out of this season, this is a winnable game for them. The AL club has won only two games in July and is in trade talks with a number of other teams for some of its best players. It's fair to say that some of the players are no longer fully focused on the task at hand and are looking elsewhere, or simply lacking motivation in what is now a lost season.

The Rockies had success swiping bags against new Rays catcher, Luke Maile, last night and could put more pressure on him and the Tampa defense tonight. The fact that Kevin Cash now not only has to prepare his staff for Colorado's ability to 'go yard' but also the possibility of playing small ball, only makes this matchup more difficult. Add in the fact that this is an interleague series and an unfamiliar opponent and matters become further complicated. Last but not least, while Tyler Chatwood is used to swinging a bat as a National League pitcher, rookie Blake Snell is not and that gives the Rox another minor advantage. In the end, we believe all these factors add up to give the home side a definite advantage in a game that they really should win.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Rays have lost their last 11 road games!
  • Rockies entered this series batting .306 at Coors Field!
  • Rays are 18-38 after a defeat this season.

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