This is an interleague series between two teams that are having a very disappointing 2012. The Colorado Rockies have lost 11 of their last 12 games. The Philadelphia Phillies were supposed to be the class of the National Leagues East, but they are currently at the bottom of the division. Which team can get back on track in this one?
Jeff Francis will start for the Rockies in this one. Francis didn’t even start the season on a Major League roster, but the Rockies picked him up after they had trouble with their starting rotation. His first two starts haven’t been encouraging. Francis has allowed 12 runs in just two starts with the Rockies this year. Colorado’s pitching staff has been awful all season, and there is no relief in sight for the Rockies.
The Rockies can still pile up runs, but they are somewhat short-handed offensively now. Troy Tulowitzki is out for a significant length of time and this badly hurts the lineup. Carlos Gonzalez is having another monster season at the plate. Gonzalez missed a couple days with a minor injury, but he was back in the lineup last night. For the foreseeable future, the Rockies offense is going to have to pile up a lot of runs if this team is going to win.
Philadelphia really misses Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, and the offense has struggled to come up with clutch hits. The Phillies actually have a solid team batting average, but they have been unable to produce with runners in scoring position. Carlos Ruiz is having a breakout season for the Phillies. Ruiz has some new-found power in 2012. Ruiz leads the team with a .354 batting average. He has already tied his career high for home runs with nine. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are both having very disappointing seasons for the Phillies. These are the guys who set the tone for the Phillies’ offense, and without them getting on base, the Phillies struggle to score.
Vance Worley is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball right now. Worley doesn’t get the same recognition as the rest of the Phillies’ pitching staff, but he has been great the past two seasons. Worley has a tremendous 2.80 ERA so far this season. Overall, Phillies pitching has been very good this year, but they have slumped a bit over the last couple weeks.
MLB Free Pick: Phillies ML
I’m not a fan of laying big money like this, but this is a great matchup for the Phillies. Worley is a solid pitcher, and Francis hasn’t proven capable of getting big-league hitters out. The Phillies should take this series finale.