Daniel Wettstein II shares his best and worst bets ahead of the Rockies’ return to action at the end of this month.
Baseball is finally back and with the shortened 60-game season, insanity is surely to ensue. That is why me and my fellow betting experts are here to sift through the craziness to find what we believe to be the best and worst games to bet.
Unfortunately, the only active Futures Bets available through any sportsbook is for the World Series and NL/AL Pennant winners. This will quickly change as Opening Day rapidly approaches. We are here to get a jump on the best opportunities even though we can’t advocate for best odds just yet. I promise we will update you as things begin to really get rolling over the next week plus.
There are only 7 teams in the entire MLB that the Colorado Rockies have an above .500 record against all-time. So, I am sure most are thinking, why would there be a good bet on this historically sub-par team? Well I am here to show you just how wrong your assumption is, and why there is always good to go with the bad. Like the number above, when you filter for games at Coors Field that number more than triples to 22. If you filter for road games, that number drops to two (The White Sox is one of the two, with a total of three games played in Chicago). Always strive to dig deeper, surface numbers can lie, contrary to popular belief.
If you are like most and want to watch the games you did/did not bet on, all 60 games will be aired locally on ATT Sportsnet and out-of-market on MLB.tv. You can also catch the August 31 game against San Diego on ESPN.
1. Home Opener: vs. San Diego Padres, July 31, 2020 at 6:10 PM MST/8:10 PM EST, at Coors Field.
Denver is coming off their 3rd off day of the shortened season. While San Diego is pulling a quick turn around after a late game at 5:45 MST in San Francisco the day before. The Rockies will be playing their home opener after a day of rest against a jetlagged San Diego roster after getting into DIA at Dark:30 that morning. Jetlag is a serious performance inhibitor, look at the conclusions of this study by NCBI:
“There is strong evidence that mood and cognition are adversely affected by jet lag. Some measures of individual and team performance are adversely affected as well.”
Having no fans in the stands will not be able to temper the energy of the home team against the team they have more wins against than any other. They are also 1 of the 7 teams mentioned above, which doesn’t hurt.
2. Vs. Texas Rangers, August 14, 2020 at 6:40 PM MST/8:40 PM EST
This doesn’t have the jet-lag narrative, but the Texas Rangers have an all-time .444 winning percentage at Coors Field. Yes, past performance doesn’t always project future performance, but nothing works as a better barometer. As the adage goes, knowing where you been, tells you where to go. Assuming both teams go with a 5-man rotation with no insanity thrown in, this will have Texas’ #3 starter vs. the Rockies’ #4 starter. This on paper sounds bad, but when you consider those starters are more than likely Lance Lynn (Rangers) and Antonio Senzatela(Rockies) the gap is much smaller.
Despite Lance Lynn finding the fountain of youth in 2019 going 16-11 with a 3.67 ERA, he has not been above .500 or had an ERA under 4.14 since 2017. He’s 33, more than likely 2019 will stand as his 2nd best year to 2012(his lone All-Star selection). Senzatela was a star of camp after showing he spent the offseason sharpening his off-speed pitches, the one bugaboo holding him back from possible dominance.
2020 could be Senza’s coming out party, and this may be one of those signature games announcing his arrival after getting the day before off to ensure he is at his peak. Just to be clear, no team has set their lineup or rotation, this is all simply projection.
3. Vs. Texas Rangers, August 16, 2020 at 1:10 PM MST/3:10 PM EST
Two games in the same series? Am I lazy? I plead the 5th, but not because of this pick. This has a major possible advantage for the Rockies, with the same caveats as above this potentially has the Ace for the Rockies vs. the #5 starter for the Rangers.
If this plays out and projections hold true, that means German Marquez vs. ex-Rockie Jordan Lyles. Yes Lyles went 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA with the Milwaukee Brewers in the second-half of 2019. This is a major outlier as he has a career record of 43-60 with a 5.11 ERA. As a starter for his career at Coors Field as a visitor he is 0-3 with a 9.65 ERA. Overall against his old team he is 1-5 with a 7.63 ERA, his former team seems to have his number no matter the setting.
Add in this is a day game in August, visiting teams have a hard enough time breathing on a perfect day, now add in potential triple-digit temperature, and you have a recipe for disaster. Much to the amusement of the Rockies and their fans.
4. Vs. Los Angeles Angels, September 11, 2020 at 6:40 PM MST/8:40 PM EST
Another game with visiting team making another quick turnaround. This is something that all teams will deal with, including the Rockies. So, it all evens out for them, but creates these opportunities for the savvy bettor.
Add this to the fact that LA had one of the worst rotations in MLB last year(5.12 team ERA), then added the best hitter in FA while losing out on every one of the top arms on the market. So that same horrid rotation will be trying to patch things together.
At this point in the season, I see this unraveling as so many teams in Denver have with a stellar lineup, but shoddy pitching.
5. Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, September 20, 2020 at 1:10 PM MST/3:10 PM EST
Final home game. Match-up of number 5’s. Last game of a 7-game road trip for LA before last off-day of the season. Add in another Day game, but this time it has the potential to be frigid for the warm-blooded Dodgers, and you have probably the only game I would bet on the Rockies against the hated Dodgers in 2020.
Like the Yankees in the East, the Dodgers in the West have unlimited resources and a ridiculously stacked roster top-to-bottom. This time though, I can say with confidence the Rockies have the upper hand due to a rare confluence of factors that will have the Dodgers more worried about getting out of LoDo healthy and rested for what will likely be a final playoff push in their last homestand of the season, the day before their last off day.
Unless a playoff berth is in the works, this could be the last home game of 2020 for Colorado. Extra juice to end the year with a bang as I am sure Buddy will be putting out his best to try and end the home slate on a high note against the hated rival.
1. @ Seattle Mariners, August 7th, 2020 at 7:40 PM MST/9:40 PM EST
This has the Rockies being the jetlagged team, I told you this was something all teams will deal with. While this will be game 7 of a 10-game homestand for Seattle. The Mariners also always seem to play the Rockies well as an all-time winning percentage of .523 can attest.
That jumps to .545 when they are playing at home. Despite the fact of it likely being Rockies #3 starter vs. Seattle’s #5, the other mitigating factors listed will close this gap. Put this with a lagged Rockies lineup that already struggles on the road in the best of circumstances.
2. @ Arizona Diamondbacks, August 27, 2020 at 4:10 PM MST/6:10 PM EST
This is the last game of a 7-game road trip for the Rockies with another quick turn-around and flight to Denver in their personal house of horrors. They are 75-123 all time in Arizona for a paltry .379 winning percentage.
Again, a #3 starter(Arizona) vs. #2 starter(Rockies) should give the advantage to the Rockies, but with this more than likely being Jon Gray for the Rockies who is even worse statistically on the road against the Diamondbacks than his team as a whole.
Just like the Dodgers game in Best Bets, the Rockies are going to be more worried about getting the game over with ASAP so they can get on the plane as early as possible than putting forth their best effort. Unlike the Dodgers, they don’t have the respite of an off day after this game. This game starts at 4:10 PM MST which means they get on the plane at the earliest by 8:00 PM MST to try and get home and get some rest before the next game on this list.
3. Vs. San Diego Padres, August 28, 2020 at 6:40 PM MST/8:40 PM EST
Here is another one of those quick turn-around opportunities that flood this list. Nothing is more an obvious factor in performance like recent hurried travel. Especially for small-mid market teams that lack the depth of the Yankees and Dodgers of the world. When you don’t have 9 all-stars sitting on your bench, the talent drop-off when you substitute is too great to overcome most days. Despite this being a home game against the one team Colorado seems to own, I am running like Road Runner from this game. Beeps and all. No matter the odds.
4. @ San Francisco Giants, September 21, 2020 at 7:45 PM MST/9:45 PM EST
This is the first game of a 7-game season-ending road trip. This is also another quick turn-around game after a Sunday day-game that was number 5 on the Best Bets list above. The fact that they will have given their all the day before in their final home game, then the quick turn-around road game just scream for a poor performance all around.
This is also another house of horrors for the Rockies as they are 82-146 for a winning percentage of .360, good for the worst mark against any of the NL West teams in any context. It has never mattered how “bad” or “good” the Giants were at the time, Rockies just turn into a Double-A team for whatever reason once they reach McCovey Cove.
5. @ Arizona Diamondbacks, September 27, 2020 at 1:10 PM MST/3:10 PM EST
This is the final game of the year for both squads, and the final game of that season-ending road trip mentioned above. Everything that applies to #2 on this list, applies to this game as well. This also has the risk of a disheartened, possibly playoff-eliminated Rockies squad that may just be looking to get things over with so they can go back home to their friends/family and live their lives with whatever sense of normalcy they are allowed at the time. So you can drop this in the bucket as the absolute worst bet you could make on the Rockies in 2020, especially any type of Futures Bets.
This again is a list of best opportunities that fit in a 5×5 format. There is obviously many more “good” and “bad” bets in 2020 for this Colorado Rockies squad. But for time’s sake I limited to 5 of each. I would love to hear what you think about my list and let me know what you believe are the best/worst bets during this wacky 60-game MLB season.