Here were are folks. After the two teams both played a 163rd regular season game to decide who gets the division and who drops to the wild card game, we have our matchup! The Rockies and the Cubs will battle it out tonight to see which team is more deserving of continuing on into the best-of-five division series. The Chicago Cubs are -135 over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
With an offense so good that many teams can only dream of it, the Rockies persisted all season long and were able to sneak into the wild-card game. They weren’t bad against the Dodgers yesterday, but they only scored two runs, on a pair of solo home runs in the ninth inning.
They need to score earlier than that, as they gave Marquez no help yesterday. There is no lack of power for this team that hit 210 HR’s during the regular season. The Rockies are going to need a big start from Kyle Freeland in the one-game series, for them to truly have a chance. The Cubs have a bigger reliance on their bullpen, which is slightly more consistent.
The Rockies will send Kyle Freeland to the mound. He had a terrific regular season, finishing with a 17-7 record and a 2.85 ERA in 202 1/3 innings. He struck out 173 batters while walking 70. He allowed three runs or fewer and lasted six or more innings in each of his last ten starts that concluded the regular season. There is nobody else they would want to have on the mound.
Favored by 1.5 runs as the home team, the Cubs are in a good position to win this game. They have got tremendous depth, and a number of players they can pinch-hit at any time when looking for a momentum swing. Javy Baez had a tremendous year with 34 HR’s, 111 RBI’s, and a .290 BA, as he helped lead them to today’s game. Daniel Murphy has looked good since coming over, as has their bullpen, all season long. It was a down year for Ian Happ, but that didn’t seem to derail them very much.
They will send Jon Lester to the mound for today’s game. Lester finished the year with an 18-6 record, posting a 3.32 ERA in 181 2/3 innings. He struck out 149 batters (His lowest total since 2007), and walked 64. In four of his final ten outings of the season, Lester went 6+ innings without allowing any runs. He is feeling good coming in to this matchup.
Cubs eek by Colorado, move on to NLDS
If the Cubs are trying to bring it home this year, well, they are one step closer now. With this win over the Rockies, they are on to the NLDS.
In a game that will be close all the way through to the end, one late swing of the bat from Javy Baez will make the difference.
PREDICTION: Cubs 4, Rockies 3
Bet the Cubs -135 over the Rockies.
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