Houston Astros vs. Colorado Rockies Pick 7/2/19
AL West-leading Houston is trying to play itself out of a stretch of doldrums, heading into the opener of a two-game interleague series with the Rockies in Denver. But the Astros are picking a strange place to give a rookie his first Major League start. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Tuesday's MLB betting odds opened Colorado at around -115 over Houston, with an over/under of 12.5 runs. Early betting action then bumped that total to 13, which is almost standard for a Rockies home game these days.
Astros vs. Rockies Set-Up
Houston just swept three games from Seattle over the weekend, winning Sunday's series finale 6-1. The Astros then had Monday off.
Just before that Houston lost two of three games to Pittsburgh; just before that the Astros lost three of four to the Yankees; and just before that they got swept three games by Cincinnati. So even with the sweep of its own over the weekend, Houston is just 5-9 over its last 14 games.
At 53-32 overall the Astros' lead in the AL West now sits at 6.5 games over second-place Texas. Houston also trails the Yankees by 2.5 games in the battle for the best record in the American League.
Colorado, meanwhile, just split four games with the Dodgers over the weekend, losing Sunday's series finale 10-5. The Rockies then also had Monday off.
Just before that Colorado took two of three games from San Francisco. So the Rockies are 4-3 over their last seven games.
At 44-40 overall Colorado trails first-place Los Angeles by 12 games in the NL West, but it's also tied with Philadelphia for second place in the NL wild-card standings.
This series is the first meeting between these teams this season. Last year these teams split four games.
Tuesday's Starting Arms
Marquez, by our stringent standards, is 7/18 on quality starts this season and just one for his last five. Last Wednesday he gave up three runs – two earned – and seven hits through five innings of a 6-3 Rockies win over the Giants. But over his last five starts, he's allowed 22 ER and 34 hits through 30 innings.
Colorado is 13-5 with Marquez this season, and thanks to some solid run support 3-1 over his last four starts.
In his only career start against Houston, in August of last season, Marquez allowed just one run and three hits through seven innings of a 5-1 Rockies victory.
Urquidy is making his ML debut Tuesday night, in a tough park to pitch in. The 24-year-old righty earned his call to the Bigs by going 15-11 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in parts of four seasons in the Minors, including a 3-1/2.89/0.97 stint down at Triple-A Round Rock this year, with 64 strikeouts through 43 2/3 innings of work.
This being Urquidy's first-ever appearance against the Rockies could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
Houston is batting .262/.333/.454 against right-handed pitching this season.
Colorado is batting .266/.325/.454 against RH pitching this season.
The Astros bullpen owns a 3.80 ERA this season and a 1.18 WHIP while allowing a .682 OPS. Numbers like those help this unit rank among the top five bullpens in Baseball at the moment.
The Rockies pen owns a 4.70 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP while allowing a .758 OPS.
- Unders are 45-36 in Astros games this season.
- Overs are 44-36 in Rockies games this season.
- Overs are 26-15 in games played at Coors Field this season, even as Rockies home games are regularly tagged with totals of 11, 12 and more.
- Unders played 2-1-1 in Astros-Rockies games this season.
- Overs are 9-8 with Marquez this season.
- Get more details: Astros at Rockies MLB Match-up Stats
Astros at Rockies Prediction 07/02/2019
Houston may throw a rookie in a tough spot, but it's got the bullpen to keep things close if things go wrong early. And with other factors balancing out, we see betting value here with the Astros at the underdog price.