The Rockies and Diamondbacks will meet Friday night in the second game of a 4-game series, as both teams look to avoid last place in the NL West. Colorado will have free-agent success story Chad Kuhl on the mound, while the Diamondbacks, still within of a wild card spot at only 6 games back, will roll with ace Zac Gallen as they try to inch closer to contention.
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Friday’s matchup.
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Betting Odds
The Diamondbacks are very slight favorites at -120 on the money line, with the over/under set at 9.5. It’s a very narrow line considering the Rockies have played so poorly on the road. Colorado is just 12-26 outside of Coors Field, with the typical dropoff in offensive production away from the thin air. The Rockies enter this series coming off a sweep by the Dodgers, though they did take two of three against Arizona at home last weekend. I’d expect the D-Backs to step up at home and win with Gallen on the mound.
Colorado Rockies Starting Lineup
C. Kuhl R
5-5 3.83 ERA
RF C. Joe R
DH C. Blackmon L
LF K. Bryant R
1B C.J. Cron R
2B B. Rodgers R
3B R. McMahon L
SS J. Iglesias R
CF R. Grichuk R
C E. Diaz R
Colorado Rockies vs. Zac Gallen
There was concern this would be another injury-ravaged year for Zac Gallen when a shoulder issue popped up during spring training, but the D-Backs’ ace has delivered and earned himself some money whether via extension or arbitration. Gallen has a 3.40 ERA over 15 starts (82 IP), with a 3.83 FIP and a career-best 1.05 WHIP. His K/9 rate is at a career-low, but he’s also walking fewer batters than ever before. The last eight starts have been a mixed bag for Gallen. He has a 5.48 ERA over that span, including an ugly outing against the Padres early last week, but he put together a quality start in Colorado over the weekend.
Gallen dominated the Rockies at home earlier this season, and he’ll hope for more of that on Friday. The Rockies have just a .628 OPS on the road, which comes in ahead of only the Reds and Tigers. An x-factor for Colorado is Kris Bryant, who finally looks healthy and hit his first home run of the season this week. C.J. Cron represents the biggest power threat against Gallen, while Brendan Rodgers has extra-base hit potential after a great month of June. The Rockies just won’t get the benefit of the doubt on the road against a great pitcher.
Arizona Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
Z. Gallen R
4-2 3.40 ERA
3B J. Rojas L
CF A. Thomas L
DH K. Marte S
1B C. Walker R
LF D. Peralta L
RF D. Varsho L
C C. Kelly R
2B B. Kennedy R
SS G. Perdomo S
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chad Kuhl
Chad Kuhl signed a 1yr/$3M deal with the Rockies in the offseason and has positioned himself for a bigger contract this winter. Kuhl has a 3.83 ERA and 4.03 FIP across 15 starts (82.1 IP), cutting down on walks and home runs after a rocky start to his career with the Pirates. He’s surprisingly been successful at Coors Field, where he has a 3.27 ERA over 7 starts. On the road, he’s had a tougher time with a 4.39 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. That means Kuhl won’t automatically see a boost because he’s pitching in Arizona, but he pitched very well at Chase Field back in May.
Kuhl’s season will be defined by the start he made early last week, when he tossed a 102-pitch shutout against the Dodgers at Coors Field. That performance makes his struggles against this Diamondbacks team just days later even more confusing. It wouldn’t be shocking to see a bounce-back start against an Arizona team with the second-worst OPS in the NL. The D-Backs have hit better of late – Daulton Varsho is hitting .400 with 2 HR over his last 6 games, while David Peralta and Josh Rojas both have an OPS north of 1.000 over the past week. A contact pitcher like Kuhl will have to be wary of Ketel Marte, who is capable of stringing together 2 or 3 hits on any night.
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Picks & Prediction
My pick: Under 9.5 Runs (-110)
All three games between the Rockies and Diamondbacks last weekend ended with 11+ runs on the board, but these two teams aren’t in Colorado anymore. Zac Gallen cruised through the Rockies’ lineup last time they met in Arizona, and Chad Kuhl is due to bounce back after his rough start last weekend. The Rockies are notably one of two teams to average fewer than 3 runs/game on the road. The D-Backs look like the pick here, and so does the under.