A pair of aces will try to conquer Coors Field Monday night as the Colorado Rockies host the San Francisco Giants. These two teams have split their previous 10 meetings this season, with the Giants taking two out of three from Colorado last week. The San Francisco Giants enter Monday’s game over Colorado at -123.
Both teams are doing everything they can to keep up with the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the NL West. The Giants, by virtue of a three-game winning streak, are actually tied with the Dodgers, 2.5 games back of Arizona and 1.5 games out of a wild-card spot. San Francisco was 18-10 during the month of June, helping to move them five games over .500, as they appear to be picking things up as they start to get healthy.
Colorado, meanwhile, is two games under .500 and 6.5 games behind the Diamondbacks. The Rockies just can’t seem to take any steps forward without soon taking that same number of steps back. Nevertheless, they head into July within striking distance of a playoff spot.
The Ole Ace
The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound Monday night. Bumgarner is making just his sixth start of the season after missing the first two months of the season with a broken finger. In his five outings, Bumgarner is 1-2 with a 2.51 ERA, including seven shutout innings against the Rockies last week, as the lefty is showing signs of regaining his ace form.
Of course, last week’s start was in San Francisco and not Coors Field. That being said, Bumgarner has good career numbers against most of Colorado’s hitters. Carlos Gonzalez has gotten to him, but he’s not the same hitter he was a few years ago. Charlie Blackmon has also managed a .333 average against Bumgarner in his career, but he’s done so with little power. Nearly everyone else in Colorado’s lineup, most notably Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Bumgarner has held in check in his career.
The New Ace
Facing Bumgarner and the Giants will be fellow lefty Kyle Freeland. The 25-year old has been Colorado’s best starter this year, posting a 3.29 ERA over 16 starts. Surprisingly, his ERA at home is better than on the road, which is rare for Colorado pitchers. He’s also made three starts against the Giants this season, giving up four runs over 19 innings of work.
Despite three good starts against the Giants this year, his career numbers against San Francisco’s lineup aren’t all that impressive. Joe Panik, Hunter Pence, Gorkys Hernandez, and Nick Hundley have all done damage against Freeland in his brief career. Also, outside of Evan Longoria, San Francisco’s lineup is close to full strength, so there won’t be many easy outs for Freeland on Monday.
Can’t Trust the Pen
Both Bumgarner and Freeland have a chance to have a strong outing on Monday and put their teams in a good position to win. However, it’s tough for starters to go deep into games at Coors Field. Colorado’s bullpen is also the worst in the National League, while the Giants have a nice contingent of relief pitchers. At Coors Field, the bullpen can be a huge factor in a game. Therefore, bet the San Francisco Giants -123 over Colorado Rockies on Monday.