NL Baseball Preview: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals

NL Baseball Preview:  Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals

It’s been a good week for baseball betting underdogs and Friday’s MLB card offers several attractive teams at sizable ‘plus money’ prices. We’ll focus on a game in the National League in this preview of the Washington Nationals/Colorado Rockies game. This looked to be a banner year for Washington at the outset of the campaign but a combination of injuries and surprisingly poor performance by their pitching staff have left them languishing in second place in the NL East a full six games back of the Atlanta Braves. Colorado is part of a free for all in the NL West with four teams separated by a total of 3 games.

The Nationals will start their ace Stephen Strasburg in his second start after a stint on the disabled list. Strasburg pitched 5 strong innings in his return game against Cleveland on 6/16 allowing only 1 hit and 1 ER though his control was spotty as he gave up four walks. He didn’t get any help from his teammates, however, and the Nationals went on to lose 2-0. That’s been the storyline for Strasburg all year–his ERA is excellent (2.50 ERA overall, 1.09 ERA at home) but his performances haven’t translated into wins for Washington. The Nats have lost 8 of his 13 starts overall (-5.6 units) and 3 of his 5 starts at home (-3.2 units).

But as is so often the case in Major League Baseball the ‘brand name’ pitcher Strasburg may be the high priced favorite but the lower profile underdog–in this case Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood–has the better numbers. For as good as Strasburg has been this season Chatwood has been better with a 2.33 ERA and the Rockies have won 5 of his 7 starts. That ERA is phenomenal considering he pitches half of his games at Coors Field and away from home he’s been almost unhittable with a 0.58 ERA.

Injuries to key players like Bryce Harper have taken their toll on the Nationals’ offense and that’s going to be a big problem in this matchup. We’re getting the pitcher in better form and the better offense at a sizable underdog price. Take the Colorado Rockies to win Friday night’s contest and we may use them again over the weekend.