The Houston Astros are on the road at the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday in a Major League Baseball affair.
Tuesday’s game between the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies was quite the pitching duel through the first nine innings of the game. In the tenth inning, the Astros bats exploded. In fact, they hit for the cycle in the tenth inning en route to an 8-2 win over the Rockies. On Wednesday, the two teams will finish the short interleague series when the Astros (67-36) travel to Coors Field to take on the Rockies (53-47). Charlie Morton (11-2, 2.96 ERA) will be taking the mound for the Astros against Jon Gray (8-7, 5.44 ERA) of the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 pm ET
The moneyline for Wednesday’s game is set at the Houston Astros –127 and the Colorado Rockies +117. The over/under for runs scored is set at 10.
The Houston Astros come into Wednesday’s game up 6 games in the AL West. Charlie Morton will be taking the mound trying to make sure that number doesn’t get any smaller. On the season, Morton is 11-2 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .205 against him. In 112.1 innings, he has 146 strikeouts and 45 walks. Despite the overall solid numbers, his last two outings have been a little shaky. Over the last two, he has thrown a combined 10 innings and given up 8 earned runs while striking out 13. At times his walks have been an issue and against a solid Rockies team playing at home, they can burn you if you give free base.
Offensively, Alex Bregman has continued to show a hot bat. On Tuesday, he went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run. On the season, he now has 21 home runs, 68 runs batted in and has scored 69 runs. Between Bregman, Altuve and Springer, who has shown a resurgence in the five games since the All-Star break, there isn’t much of a break at the top of the Astros lineup. One thing of note, only Josh Reddick has seen the Rockies’ Jon Gray before, so there may be some adjustment that the hitters have to make.
After the loss on Tuesday, the Rockies find themselves 2.5 games out of first place in the NL West. With four teams only separated by 5.5 games, it is looking like it is going to be a fight down to the wire. Trying to get the Rockies back on track is Jon Gray. While his overall stats earned him a demotion to the minors for a stint, Gray definitely has the tools to succeed at the major league level. On the season, Gray is 8-7 with a 5.44 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and opponents are hitting .281 against him. In 99.1 innings, he has a whopping 125 strikeouts and 30 walks. In his last start, though, the first since he was called back up, he pitched well in a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners. In that game, he went 7.1 innings, giving up 1 earned run and striking out 6.
Offensively, it is hard not to be enamored with third baseman, Nolan Arenado. On the season, he is hitting .310/.394/.592 with a .985 OPS. He also has 25 home runs, 72 runs batted in and has scored 66 runs. In addition to Arenado, Trevor Story (20 home runs, 68 runs batted in), Charlie Blackmon (19 home runs), and Ian Desmond (19 home runs, 58 runs batted in) can all make pitchers pay if they throw mistakes.
If Jon Gray was a little more consistent, I might actually go the other way on this one. There are some Rockies’ hitters who have had success against Charlie Morton in their careers. Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez and Tom Murphy are all hitting .250 or higher against him, albeit in very few at bats. Murphy and Gonzalez have also taken him deep. However, this was all done during his days with the Pirates. Frankly, he is a different pitcher now than he was with them. Jon Gray has the stuff, but until he shows that he can string a few quality starts in a row, and with a faltering bullpen behind him, I have to put my money on the Astros. Take them at -127.