(German Marquez photo courtesy Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)
Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.
When and Where: Monday, July 15, Coors Field, Denver, Colo., 2:10 p.m. EDT.
The All-Star break may have come at the perfect time for German Marquez, who looks to start the second half of his season on a positive note Monday when the Colorado Rockies open a day-night doubleheader versus the San Francisco Giants.
The twinbill was needed after the teams were rained out May 8 during a three-game series at Coors Field, and after the Rockies endured a lengthy rain delay in Saturday night’s 17-9 loss to Cincinnati that did not end until 1:11 a.m. local time Sunday, they will essentially be playing four games in a space of 48 hours.
Samardzija looks to stay hot and win third straight start
Jeff Samardzija‘s name always seems to come up during the trade deadline, though this time around his $18 million salary may result in teams taking a pass on the veteran.
The right-hander, though, went into the All-Star break on a high with wins in back-to-back starts for the first time all season. Samardzija (6-7, 4.01) had one of his best outings of 2019, limiting St. Louis to four hits in seven innings of a 1-0 victory.
“July, August is when all these old bodies start warming up, breaking up all those little things that are going on,” Samardzija told the San Francisco Chronicle. “You get nice and loose. Hopefully, we keep playing well and hitting the ball hard. It’s a lot of fun to watch this offense right now.”
Samardzija’s other top-notch outing came against Colorado on April 11 when he scattered three hits and one walk in seven innings of a 1-0 victory. The righty, though, got saddled with the loss against Marquez last month after serving up a third-inning grand slam to David Dahl and giving up five runs in five-plus innings in a 5-3 defeat June 26.
Samardzija is 5-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 15 lifetime starts versus the Rockies, but Coors Field has not been kind to him of late. He has lost three consecutive starts there while posting a 12.41 ERA, getting drilled for 17 runs and 21 hits in 12 1-3 innings.
Rockies hope Marquez can provide boost and eat innings
Marquez‘s earned run average climbed nearly a full run in his last seven starts, during which he went 2-2 with a 6.43 ERA. The righty had issues in his last two outings, giving up five runs in both contests and taking a loss at Arizona on July 7 after yielding four sixth-inning runs in a 5-3 defeat.
“It’s OK. I have been having some problems with my mechanics,” Marquez (8-4, 4.45) told The Denver Post when asked to assess his first half. “But the second (half) is going to be good. I’ll finish strong. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.
“I think my slider and changeup have to be a little better,” he added.
Marquez hit the All-Star break second in the National League with 127 1-3 innings pitched and appears well on his way to topping his career high of 196 set last season. The righty was a solid pitcher after the Mid-Summer Classic in 2018, going 6-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 14 starts.
He has a pair of road wins this year over the Giants to his credit, with Evan Longoria breaking up his no-hit bid April 14 with a one-out, eighth-inning single in Colorado’s 4-0 win. Marquez lasted five innings in a 6-3 win June 26, conceding three runs and seven hits.
The fourth-year pitcher entered the season o-3 with a 6.33 ERA in five prior starts versus San Francisco. Marquez did not get a decision in his only previous home start against the Giants, allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-2 Rockies victory Sept. 4.
The Rockies are:
- 4-1 in their last five in the opening game of doubleheaders.
- 5-1 in their last six Monday games.
- 17-6 in their last 23 home games vs. sub-.500 teams.
The Giants are:
- 11-22 in their last 33 road games vs. teams with an above-.500 home record.
- 18-40 in their last 58 road games vs. the Rockies.
UNDER 13 runs (-121)
The number came in higher than expected, which does promote confidence in taking the under. These two pitchers did hit the over last month in San Francisco, though the number was nearly half this total (7.5) and had a final of nine runs.
Marquez has been strong in day starts, going 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA in seven outings, while Samardzija is 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA in eight.
While the under is 5-3-1 in the season series, the caveat is that the over went 2-0 in the previous series at Coors Field. The under has also gone 15-5-1 in the last 21 matchups, and the chances of that trend extending are far better in this game than the nightcap.
This game has the feel that Marquez and Samardzija are going to take it upon themselves to try and keep this a low-scoring game in a bid to save their respective bullpens for the nightcap.
Giants +1.5 runs first five innings (-131)
An alternate spread courtesy PointsBet.com, Samardzija’s form going into the All-Star break gives confidence to this pick, along with the fact the Giants have trailed just twice after five innings in their last 12 games (6-2-4).
While Samardzija was on the short end of a 5-3 scoreline against Marquez last month, he did not allow a run in the first five frames of his last two starts. The return is also better than expected for a 1.5-run line in five innings, which makes this a decent value pick.
Rockies -1.5 runs (-110)
Marquez’s success against the Giants this year coupled with the fact he needed the All-Star break makes him the pick in the opener of this doubleheader. Also, having outlasted the Reds for a victory Sunday bodes well in terms of momentum.
Marquez’s post All-Star break pitching splits are also not restricted to just last year — his career 3.66 ERA is nearly a full run better than his pre All-Star break ERA (4.55).
Arenado to have 2+ hits (+108)
Arenado had most of Sunday off, appearing late as part of a double switch and going 0 for 1. Still, the five-time All-Star is hitting .366 this season at Coors Field and had three multihit games in his previous seven starts.
He went 5 for 8 in the two games at Coors Field earlier this season between the teams and has five multihit games in his last 10 home matchups with the Giants. Coupled with a .342 average against Samardzija (13 for 38), and this is a good play with a shot at plus-money.
UNDER 7 runs (-110)
Though Marquez and Samardzija went to eight in their matchup in San Francisco, each pitcher blanked the opponent in the first five innings in their other start in their respective matchups this year.
The five-inning under hit comfortably in all three of San Francisco’s games against Milwaukee, not getting above four total runs in those games as San Francisco’s starting pitching was on point. The under had also hit in Colorado’s previous five contests before sailing over in the last two.
Rockies 3-way money line 1st inning (+171)
After back-to-back four-spots in the first inning against Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday, the Rockies are worth a flyer specifically with the 3-way money line in the opening frame given the impressive return.
Colorado averages .71 runs in the first inning, and Samardzija is sporting a 6.00 ERA in the first this season. Marquez also has been a solid first-inning pitcher with a 3.15 ERA and held opponents off the scoreboard to open seven of his 10 starts at Coors.