Rockies at Diamondbacks MLB Pick for June 18
The National League West currently has three teams over the .500 mark, and a couple of them are set to battle in the desert on Tuesday night. The Colorado Rockies, who are second in the division with a record of 37-34, will head down to Phoenix to take on the 38-35 Arizona Diamondbacks, who sit in third.
Merrill Kelly, who had never pitched in the majors before this season, will take the ball for the home team opposite Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela.
|2019 ATR Home||16-21-0||16-14-0|
|2019 ATR Away||21-13-0||28-15-0|
|2019 O/U Home||23-14-0||11-16-3|
|2019 O/U Away||13-17-3||25-18-0|
Kelly’s Surprising Success
Through 14 starts this season, the 30-year-old Kelly has a record of 7-6 alongside a 3.73 ERA. He has looked pretty good all year in his first season in the big leagues, and he’s been particularly stellar over his last three starts. The right-hander has allowed just two earned runs over those last three outings combined, a stretch that spans 22 ⅓ inning of work.
Kelly has a fairly low strikeout rate of just 18.4% on the year, and his 4.84 SIERA is about a full run higher than his ERA. Kelly has also allowed hard contact at a 38.3% clip. These numbers seem to indicate that he has enjoyed a bit of good fortune to this point, and that we should expect some regression from Kelly moving forward.
The Rockies aren’t the most daunting lineup in the league, especially when they’re taking their hacks away from Coors Field, but I’m generally bearish on Kelly as the season progresses. Kelly has actually struggled a bit more against righties than lefties, so he may have a tough time getting through the likes of Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story at the top of the lineup. Kelly has allowed a .317 wOBA with eight homers on the year to right-handed hitters.
Senzatela’s Rough Outing
Things didn’t go well for Antonio Senzatela last time out. The right-hander lasted just four innings at home against the Cubs, allowing six runs on eight hits along the way. Senzatela picked up just two strikeouts while walking four along the way.
That rough outing ended what had actually been a pretty strong stretch for the right-hander. Senzatela had allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his previous three starts against the Mets, Blue Jays, and these Diamondbacks before getting blown up by the Cubs at Coors Field.
Senzatela throws a lot of fastballs, and he doesn’t miss many bats. He has a super low strikeout rate just over 12% this season, while his walk rate is north of 10%. His 5.48 ERA and 5.64 SIERA aren’t far apart, and he has allowed hard contact at a rate nearing 39%.
The Arizona lineup has been surprisingly potent this season, but it’s fair to say they’ve been playing a bit over their heads. Ketel Marte has seen a massive power surge, for example. Marte has already smashed a career-high 20 home runs this season, and we’re barely halfway through June. His previous career-high for home runs was 14, which he set last season.
While Senzatela isn’t a particularly good pitcher in his own right, I do think oddsmakers are slightly overvaluing Kelly and the Diamondbacks in this spot. Both of these teams are comparable offensively. Despite the fact that the D-Backs decided to install a humidor at Chase Field last season, I would still expect plenty of runs to be scored in this one tonight.
I think the over on 10 runs at -120 is a fine bet, but the better value comes with betting on the Rockies to win the game outright. I like the price on Colorado at +130 on the moneyline. I think they are the better team overall, and I’d expect that to be reflected in the standings as the season progresses. I expect Arizona to cool down as the summer heats up and start sinking toward the bottom of the division.
It’s tough to trust Senzatela, but I like the Colorado bats to do some damage tonight against Kelly and the Arizona bullpen. Give me the Rockies.
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