Colorado is in a bad spot tonight with the combination of gas can pitcher Jeff Hoffman and the thin air at Coors Field. He makes another start for Colorado amidst the mounting injuries to the Rockies pitching staff and will again serve as a punching bag to opposing hitters.
San Diego Padres -115 | Joey Lucchesi (10-7, 3.84 ERA ) at Colorado Rockies +105 | Jeff Hoffman (1-6, 7.06 ERA), 7:10 p.m.
With a 1-6 record and a 7.06 ERA, it should come as no surprise that Hoffman has been a great pitcher to fade in 2019.
Colorado has not only dropped his last three starts but the Rockies have lost by an average of 4 runs in those contests. In these games alone he cost bettors -3.15 units. Like most struggling pitchers his issues can be directly linked to his lack of control and lack of pitch variety.
Hoffman is mostly a fastball pitcher, but sadly he is one who has been unable to locate his fastball this season. Yet he still relies heavily on it, as he throws the heat 58 percent of the time and is his main strikeout pitch. Problem is, he has a tendency to throw it right down the middle of the plate. For those of you unfamiliar with the intricacies of Major League Baseball, throwing a fastball down broad street is generally considered a poor choice.
This lack of fastball control has let opponents to slug .772 against his favorite pitch and has posted a FIP of 5.00 or more in each of his last six starts. Even more concerning is his FIP is on average over 6.00 when he plays San Diego. Active players on the Padres are slugging .523 overall against him as if you needed another reason to fade Hoffman tonight.
The Padres will counter with Joey Lucchesi, who has been solid this season, posting a 10-7 record and a 3.84 ERA for San Diego. Even more impressive is the fact Lucchesi has given up just a single run or less in each of his last three starts which spanned 17 innings.
Efficacy leads to profitability and Lucchesi has satisfied his backers to the tune of +4.15 units over his last found games, all of which the Padres have won. Lucchesi lives and dies by his sinker, his favorite pitch and for good reason. He throws it around 50% of the time but has seen results to the tune of a .217 BAA in August and a .111 BAA so far in September. Active rostered Rockies players are hitting .220 and slugging .369 in 91 total at-bats.
This is a clear-cut pitching mismatch between a Hoffman and Lucchesi with the Padres clearly sending out the stronger arm tonight. With the total hovering around 13, we recommend avoiding that but the moneyline odds for this game are very attractive. The Padres are a slight favorite at -115 and with Jeff “Garbage Fire” Hoffman on the mound, San Diego is worth a shot at such a good price.
Best Bet: San Diego Padres -115
Houston Astros -400 | Gerrit Cole (16-5, 2.73 ERA ) vs Kansas City Royals +360 | Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.71 ERA), 7:10 p.m.
The Astros come into this series as a massive favorite but also suffering from a bit of a slump lately. They have dropped three in a row entering the weekend and really need to start winning games against underdog teams. As bad as the Royals have been are the Astros playing terrible enough to warrant a wager on Kansas City?
Well, it all depends on how much fight the Astros have left in them with such a lead atop the American League West. Some teams keep their foot on the pedal towards the end of a successful season and some tend to let off down the stretch and ‘save it for the playoffs.’ As of late, the Astros seem to be falling into the latter category after suffering a series loss to the Oakland Athletics after losing the last three games of the series.
Due to this slide, they have now slid to two games back from the New York Yankees for the No. 1 seed in the American League Postseason. This might be enough light a fire under them and for the Astros to step up and take care of business versus the Kansas City Royals tonight, a team they should be ten times out of ten.
Houston has the advantage of veteran Gerrit Cole who will look to get them back on the right path in Kansas City. Last time out he tossed a real beauty, working eight full innings in route to a 21-1 win over the Seattle Mariners last Sunday. Cole has stood out as one of the more elite starters this season, taking a victory in 8 of his last 10 starts with the Astros winning nine of those games outright. Oddly, one of his worst outings this year came at the hands of the Royals back in May when he gave up four earned runs on seven hits over 6 ⅓ innings of work. A game in which both he and the Astros won 6-4 to be fair.
Now Kansas City might be one of the worst teams in baseball this season, but they have seen a visible uptick in the play of late and might not be such a pushover for the struggling Astros. The Royals have actually come out on top of 8 of their last 11 games in what could be a strong finish for Kansas City. There have been explosions of offense from many Royals players over the last few weeks, but can their pitching keep them in the game tonight against a very potent Astros lineup?
Danny Duffy will have his work cut out for him tonight for sure as he takes the mound at Kauffman Stadium Friday night. He will look to build on his 6-6 record and keep his team on the winning track, but the veteran isn’t in for the easiest of nights. He did look great last time out tossing six strong innings and giving up just a single on and two hits against the Miami Marlins. He also found success against the Astros earlier in the year, when they were playing much better mind you. He tossed 6 ⅔ innings of two-run ball with six hits as he helped the Royals blowout the Astros 12-2. In fact, the Royals have won six of Duffy’s previous seven starts in 2019. So it seems we might be in for a real pitchers duel tonight in KC.
Now the odd are heavily stacked in the Astros favor with the road team coming into this game as -400 favorites. While this does make a straight-up play on Houston a no-go, it does create an intriguing underdog play on the Kansas City Royals at +360 with their strongest pitcher on the mound. Don’t go crazy here but the Royals are worth a unit bet at these odds to keep the Astros down and win another game behind Danny Duffy.
Best Bet: Kansas City Royals +360