The Rockies have largely been a disaster early this season, but that’s to be expected. The Guardians’ struggles, however, are surprising — and Monday night’s shutout loss to the Rockies certainly reinforced a lot of their current struggles. Can Cleveland bounce back with rookie Peyton Battenfield on the mound? The Guardians are strong home favorites at -205 on the moneyline, per DraftKings sportsbook.
Let’s make predictions for Tuesday night’s matchup and dive into why the Guardians should be able to pull out the win.
Rockies vs. Guardians Prediction
There isn’t much reason to believe in the Guardians’ offense right now, but this is a good opportunity for them to put it all together – even if it’s for only one night. Cleveland still knows how to make contact and put runners on base. What’s been missing is the power, and a home matchup with a struggling young pitcher in Ryan Feltner may be their best chance at finding that power stroke.
It’s worth noting the Guardians have their own unproven starter on the mound in Peyton Battenfield, but the endless Cleveland pitching machine looks like it’s churned out another decent starter. Battenfield has a 1.69 ERA through two starts and had a pretty steady track record in the minors. Against a Rockies lineup that strikes out often, Battenfield will just have to navigate a couple power threats to survive until the bullpen takes over.
There isn’t enough value on the Guardians moneyline, but I’m confident enough in a bounce-back day that Guardians -1.5 is worthwhile at -105.
Rockies vs. Guardians Prediction: Guardians -1.5 (-101)
Rockies vs. Guardians Odds
The Guardians enter as heavy home favorites at -205 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8.5 runs, and you can get Cleveland -1.5 at -105.
The Rockies shut out the Guardians on Monday, and Cleveland’s lineup is becoming a real issue. Oddsmakers aren’t ready to forget just how bad Colorado has been this season, however. Even with an unproven starter on the mound, this is a bounce-back opportunity for the Guardians.
Rockies vs. Guardians Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Rockies vs. Guardians.
Guardians’ Power Drought vs. Ryan Feltner
Ryan Feltner’s time in the majors has been pretty brief, but he proved last season that his struggles were not just the result of Coors Field. He allowed 11 home runs on the road compared to just five at home, and two of his three road starts this season have been ugly. That’s one reason for my Rockies vs. Guardians prediction.
This is a prime opportunity for the Guardians to break out of their power drought. No one believed Cleveland would turn any game into a home run derby this season, but with Josh Bell and Mike Zunino added to the lineup plus Josh Naylor healthy, it was supposed to be better than this.
The Guardians are dead last among all AL teams with just 12 home runs through 23 games. That’s less than half of the Twins’ total, and Minnesota looks like Cleveland’s primary competition in the AL Central. If they can’t hit the ball out of the park against good pitching, they at least need to be able to do it against pitchers like Feltner. Chances are they can, at least a little bit.
It doesn’t seem like a safe bet that either Feltner or Battenfield will provide serious length here, which means both bullpens are going to be heavily involved in this game. On paper, that should benefit the Guardians. Cleveland had an excellent bullpen last season and returned most key relievers.
So far this season, that hasn’t always been the case. The Rockies’ bullpen has actually been worth a full win more than Cleveland in terms of fWAR and has a better FIP despite half of their games coming at Coors Field. The return of Daniel Bard adds another solid element to this Colorado bullpen. Whether the script flips and the Guardians can win the later innings will be huge on Tuesday.
Rockies vs. Guardians Starting Lineups
Rockies Starting Lineup
DH Charlie Blackmon L
LF Jurickson Profar S
RF Kris Bryant R
1B C.J. Cron R
3B Ryan McMahon L
C Elias Diaz R
2B Alan Trejo R
CF Brenton Doyle R
SS Ezequiel Tovar S
Guardians Starting Lineup
LF Steven Kwan L
SS Amed Rosario R
3B Jose Ramirez S
DH Josh Bell S
1B Josh Naylor L
2B Andres Gimenez L
RF Will Brennan L
C Mike Zunino R
CF Myles Straw R