MLB (1 Pick)
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8:40PM EST: Rockies ML +195 (3 Units)
The Braves start Rookie Darius Vines. He's making his first career big league start and he's doing it at Coors field. It's a tough ask of a young pitcher. He's made just 5 AAA starts this season and has done okay. He doesn't throw his Fastball, Changeup, or Slider for strikes more than 50% of the time and those account for 90% of his pitch selection. He has a curveball that's attached to his generic scouting reports but he's thrown it just twice across 453 pitches this season.
His fastball averages around 90mph and his changeup and slider 81. Control and pitch sequence is a large facet of this young mans game. He's not only battling first MLB start jitters but also the Coors Field effects. Not to mention he's facing an MLB lineup with better eyes than their minor league counter parts. There's a lot of things that has to go right for the young right hander and if it doesn't, things get ugly fast at Coors Field.
COL starts Kyle Freeland. He's been serviceable since coming off the IL on July 28th. He also fares better when pitching at home. That is usually an abnormality for any type of Pitcher at Coors Field but Freeland's in year 7 wearing Purple. He has a 4.68 ERA across 13 Home starts this year. While that doesn't blow you away it's good at Coors. Putting it into perspective, a "Quality Start" is 6 innings pitched while allowing 3 runs or less. You would have a 4.5 ERA if you allowed 3ER and went 6 innings every start. Any manager would take that at Coors Field every time.
Freeland has faced Atlanta twice the past 2 seasons. He allowed just 1 run over 7 innings at Coors Field in the first start. The 2nd one they blasted him for 7 runs across 4.1 IP in Atlanta back on June 15th, a few starts before he hit the IL with a shoulder problem. That can actually work to Freeland's benefit. He obviously didn't have his best stuff on the 15th and a shoulder injury is partly to blame.
Freeland is a guy with a 4.3 ERA across 175 starts in his MLB career while calling Coors Field Home. The man can pitch. Atlanta saw a lesser version of him the last time they faced him and if he's on today, Atlanta's eyes will register his pitches incorrectly.
Nobody in the Rockies bullpen has thrown back to back days so Bud Black can use who he wants. Atlanta has used their top relievers in the first two wins against Colorado. They don't have great long relief if Vines struggles. Colin McHugh fills that role and he threw 38 pitches a few days ago. He also has a 4.5 ERA in his last 15 appearances.
This line also opened up with ATL -265 and despite over 85% of tickets coming in on the Braves it's down below -235 at most books. It's best not to read into line movement too deeply but in this instance, it's worth noting.