MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Rockies: Colorado Is a Live Dog Against Trevor Bauer (Friday, April 2)

Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Bauer.

Dodgers vs. Rockies Odds

Dodgers Odds -265
Rockies Odds +220
Over/Under 12
Time Friday, 7:40 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings

Just one game into the season, we’ve already been reminded how cruel baseball can be.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have plenty of opportunities to win baseball games this season. Still, yesterday’s loss must have stung a bit considering that Justin Turner’s baserunning blunder cost them an out and wiped a two-run home run off the board.

The game might have taken an entirely different route had the home run stood, but as Yankee’s play-by-play man John Sterling would say, “That’s baseball, Susan!”

Los Angeles will look to bounce back on Friday night when it sends the reigning NL Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer, to the mound against Colorado’s Antonio Senzatela.

It’s no surprise that the Dodgers will likely be substantial favorites in most of the games they play this season. However, at Coors Field, strange things tend to happen.

The Dodgers are as high as a -280 favorite on Friday at one sportsbook, but that number is a bit inflated, especially with Senzatela on the mound.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

Last season, the Dodgers won the season series against the Rockies 7-3, including winning three out of four at Coors Field. But they weren’t the only team to beat up the Rockies on the road.

Colorado finished the season under .500 at 26-34, but it was surprising that they had a worse record at home (12-18) than on the road.

Last year was the first time since the 2015 season that the Rockies had a losing record at home. There’s no question that it was a strange season for everyone, given that it was only 60 games in the middle of a pandemic, and with no fans in attendance. However, I’m willing to give the Rockies a mulligan on the year as a whole.

Going back to 2005, our Bet Labs database shows that Los Angeles is 76-69 against Colorado at Coors Field. But if you backed them in every game, you would actually be -0.4 units. In fact, bettors backing the Dodgers on the road as more than a 2:1 favorite, you’re actually -2.27 units.

On Friday, the Dodgers will face Senzatela, who went 5-3 last season with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Sure, Senzatela’s FIP was a little on the high side at 4.57, but that’s likely because he predominantly pitches to contact, which is key, especially in a spacious park such as Coors Field.

Senzatela can throw a curveball and devastating slider that moves down and in to right-handed hitters, forcing them to roll over on the pitch.

Last year, Senzatela was able to generate a ground ball on 50.8% of his batted balls against, and his career 1.82 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio is promising for a pitcher who has to pitch most of his games in high altitude.

According to FanGraphs, in 2020, his slider was rated at 6.6 runs above average, and not only was that the highest of his career, but it was also the first time he received above-average marks.

For all the dominance the Dodgers showed at the plate last season, they had the most difficulty against the slider, finishing the season 2.5 runs below average when facing the pitch.

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Colorado Rockies

The Rockies showed yesterday that they’re always a threat when playing at home. They were able to score five runs off Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw before chasing him in the sixth inning.

It was a rare Opening Day performance for Kershaw. According to ESPN, in his previous eight starts on Opening Day, his 1.05 ERA was the lowest of any pitcher since 1913 with a minimum of 40 innings.

Now, Colorado will look to make it two in a row against Bauer, who parlayed a Cy Young season last year into a three-year deal with the Dodgers worth $102 million.

With Bauer spending the majority of his career in the American League, he’s only had three starts against the Rockies, and each of them occurred when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians. Only one of those starts took place at Coors Field, and let’s say it was an outing that Bauer would probably like to forget. Bauer allowed four runs on five hits and walked five in 3 1/3 innings of an 8-1 defeat back in June 2017.

As I said, strange things tend to happen at Coors Field.

There’s no question that Bauer is a quality pitcher. He has a power arm and his 12.33 K/9 last year was certainly impressive. But if hitters can make contact against him, they tend to get the ball into the air, as evidenced by his career 11.9% HR/FB ratio.

Last season, opposing batters hit a fly ball 47.8% of the time when they made contact, and it was also the highest mark in Bauer’s nine-year career. That could be problematic at Coors Field.

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Dodgers-Rockies Pick

I have a ton of respect for Bauer, but I think this number is too high with the Dodgers as a -280 favorite. This will only be his second career start in Colorado, and last time he didn’t see the end of the fourth inning.

Senzatela is exactly the kind of pitcher who can have success at Coors Field.  Last season was a watershed moment for him when he went 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA while pitching at home.

In his last two starts against the Dodgers, Senzatela allowed only three runs in 11 1/3 innings of work and got the win in a 6-3 win at Coors Field back in September of last season. In fact, Colorado has never lost to the Dodgers at Coors Field with Senzatela on the mound. They’re a perfect 3-0 in this situational spot.

When you combine that with his overall performance last season, particularly at home and how his dominant slider can induce ground balls against a Dodgers team that struggled the most against the very pitch last season, the Rockies are more than a live dog in this game.

DraftKings currently has the best odds on the board for Colorado, so I’ll look to split my action evenly with them on the moneyline and the run line.

Pick: Rockies moneyline +220 (.5u) and Rockies run line +148 (.5u)

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