Dodgers Betting Favorites in Coors Field

USA TODAY Sports

Over bettors live for Coors Field series — especially when the Dodgers are the visiting team. Thus far, the Dodgers and Rockies tallied 42 runs in the first two games of their four-game series. With warm temperatures in downtown Denver, Colorado, the already excellent hitting context only gets better. Here’s a sports betting look ahead to tonight’s Dodgers and Rockies game.

The massive 13-run implied total did not impede over bettors last night in Colorado. The Rockies overcame the Dodgers 13-9 with the game featuring 28 hits and 5 home runs. In the loss, Max Muncy hit a ball to the mountains…

Tonight, the Dodgers send veteran ace Clayton Kershaw to the hill to face Rockies’ starter, Jon Gray. With both teams residing in the National League West, the history between the teams, especially with Kershaw pitching, is plentiful.

At the time of this writing, FanDuel Sportsbook pegs the Dodgers as -150 favorites with a 12.5-run implied game total. Behind Jon Gray, the Rockies are +130 to convert a win.

Stat of the Night

Over the last 30 days, Charlie Blackmon is white hot. Blackmon is second in all of Major League Baseball behind Ketel Marte in batting average — hitting .400 over the span. Blackmon added 8 home runs, 23 runs, and 20 RBI over that span.

A major factor in Blackmon’s success is unquestionably his home hitting digs. Blackmon is rolling at home — collecting three hits in six straight home games.

Prop Shop – Alex Verdugo to Hit a Home Run

As is normally the case with the Prop Shop on the weekends, the home run hunt is afoot. Unfortunately, bookmakers understand the proverbial launch pad that exists in Coors Field and the odds posted for home runs can be pretty tough on bettors.

Home run hunting is fodder for speculators because typically the odds the book provides are not very good. Home runs, of course, are very unlikely events. So, if taking a shot, one is best served to look for the best return. Tonight, FanDuel Sportsbook offers a +460 HR prop for Alex Verdugo.

Verdugo typically resides in the two-hole when the Dodgers face a right-handed pitcher. Coors Field has been very kind to Alex with the lefty collecting four hits and two home runs over the first two games of the series. With a 45.3% hard-hit rate and 90.1 MPH average exit velocity against righties this season, the price on Verdugo is the best you will see for a Dodger home run tonight.

Pitching Primer

Beginning on the home side, Jon Gray will toe the rubber for the Rockies this evening. Ahead of Gray is a Dodgers’ offense that ranks in the top five of… well, just about every offensive category. The Dodgers rest in the top five in batting average, wRC+, home runs, and ISO. The Dodgers 117 wRC+ is tied for first in the MLB with the Yankees.

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Jon Gray is doing Jon Gray things again this season — riding up and down the roller coaster that is the life of a Coors Field pitcher. With Gray, the strikeouts are there at a 25.3% clip this season and the groundball rate is helpful at 49.4% to pitchers in Coors Field. Gray’s problem is two-fold — walks and hard hits. Hitters boast a 89.8 average exit velocity versus Gray this season to go with a damning 9.3% walk-rate. The free passes ruin pitch count and Gray has not completed seven innings in a start since May 22nd.

On the other side of this game, Clayton Kershaw is steadily shifting from the electric ace into the savvy veteran role as a pitcher on a strong staff. Kershaw has been very good this year — pitching to a 3.59 xFIP while collecting 7 wins in the process. That said, strikeouts for Kershaw are down (22.5%) and hard contact is way up (39.8%) — two possible signs that Father Time is beginning to rear his head.

Clayton Kershaw in Coors Field presents a different narrative, however. Over his career in Coors Field, Kershaw compiled a 4.57 ERA, 23.4 K%, 6.8 BB%, and 1.3 HR/9. For comparison, Kershaw’s career numbers for those categories are a 2.42 ERA, 27.4 K%, 6.4 BB%, and 0.6 HR/9. While he is not the pitcher he was, Coors Field impacts Kershaw’s stuff.

The thin air in Colorado does not merely impact balls that are hit. Instead, breaking pitches just don’t break like they do elsewhere with the air being so thin. Kershaw mainly relies on a big curveball as his out pitch so he has always struggled — relative to his usual — to dominate in Coors Field.

The Pick

Given the amount of runs scored thus far in the series and the lack of a completely dominating pitcher on either side, picking a winner in this game feels a bit difficult. If anything, my gut tells me to take the odds and side with the Rockies as underdogs at home.

Instead, the 12.5-run implied total feels like the place to attack the game. At the time of this writing, the over is priced at -104 on both FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. The warm Colorado weather boosts an already explosive offensive environment. Before this number gets to 13, I am in. The Pick: Over 12.5 runs at -104 on both books.

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