Free Picks: Colorado Rockies vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Rockies vs Pirates Week 9
Colorado Rockies vs Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB, PNC Park

The Colorado Rockies (19-32) head out to play the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-31) to begin a three-game series on Friday, and both teams are in desperate need of a win. Well, maybe not a desperate need — neither Colorado nor Pittsburgh has a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, even with four months of the season left to play. The Rockies dropped both ends of a doubleheader, and they’ve lost eight of 12. The Pirates, meanwhile, are losers in nine of their past 10.

Who can emerge in a battle of ice-cold teams?

When the Colorado Rockies face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Someone is going to win. Someone has to win … right?

The Rockies and Pirates have two of the three worst records in the National League. Notches in the win column are difficult to come by these days. And neither team is accustomed to being a favorite on any given night. 

This time, though, Colorado has the honor of being favored with -116 money line odds (10Bet) among the day’s MLB picks. On the other side, Pittsburgh carries +100 money line odds (10Bet) as the underdogs.

Let’s give a bit of context for what these teams have done lately. Last weekend, the Rockies looked as good as they have all season, sweeping the Diamondbacks at home before taking their series opener against the Mets. They’ve lost three in a row, though, suffering a doubleheader sweep on Thursday. In their past 32 innings, they’ve scored only six runs.

The Pirates have lost six in a row, including a home sweep against the Cubs that concluded Thursday. And in that game, Pittsburgh sustained an embarrassment on a fundamental breakdown that could be interpreted as a microcosm of their season. With two outs in the third inning, Cubs shortstop Javier Baez hit a grounder to the third baseman, whose throw to first was a bit off-line. Instead of touching first base for the force out, the first baseman followed Baez all the way down the basepath back to home plate, then threw to his catcher — who was unable to tag out a Cubs runner sliding to home. Baez then doubled back to first, and advanced to second on an errant throw.

Did you follow all of that? The point is, the Pirates are an absolute mess right now.

Both offenses are anemic, but there’s some glimmer of hope for the Rockies on Friday because they’re facing Pittsburgh righty Mitch Keller (2-6, 7.41 ERA). Keller has lost his past three starts, allowing 14 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings. He has never started against the Rockies, but most teams who’ve seen him have hit him.

Colorado righty Jon Gray (4-4, 3.43 ERA), has been much more competitive. He’s 0-2 in his past three starts, but it hasn’t been all his fault. He’s allowed eight earned runs in 17 1/3 innings in that span. Oh, and his lone start against Pittsburgh in the past three seasons resulted in a win, with Gray tossing seven innings of three-run ball.

We’ll use Gray as our tiebreaker between hapless teams here, thus making the favored Rockies our BetPicks prediction for the day.

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  • Colorado is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Rockies’ past 10 games
  • Pittsburgh is 1-9 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in four of the Pirates’ past six games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).