July 24 MLB Preview — Colorado Rockies (47-53) at Washington Nationals (53-46)/2nd game of doubleheader

(Trea Turner photo courtesy Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

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: Wednesday, July 24, Nationals Park, Washington D.C., 7:05 p.m. EDT.

Out to end a run of no-decisions and hoping for some run support, Patrick Corbin takes the mound for the Washington Nationals in the nightcap of their day-night doubleheader versus the Colorado Rockies.

The doubleheader was required due to Monday’s rainout coupled with the fact this is Colorado’s only visit to the nation’s capital.

Freeland still struggling to find form for Rockies

This will be Kyle Freeland‘s third start after a six-week stint in the minors, and there have been few signs the left-hander — who won 17 games last year — has solved the problems that have led to a miserable season to date.

Freeland (2-7, 7.62 ERA) has lasted just four innings in each of his two starts, getting tagged for 10 runs and 15 hits. He took the loss against the New York Yankees on Friday after getting reached for five runs and six hits in four innings of an 8-2 setback.

It can be argued Freeland made just one mistake in his four innings, but it proved costly as Edwin Encarnacion belted a grand slam in the third.

“The first two innings the change up was really effective tonight,” Rockies manager Bud Black told the club’s official website. “[But] we couldn’t get the ball over the plate. He was trying to bring the pitches down to get the ground ball. He couldn’t get it to his spot. The selectivity of the Yankees was apparent in the third inning.”

Freeland is 0-4 with a 6.91 ERA in his last six road starts after opening the season with a victory in Miami. His turn in the rotation did not come up when the Nationals visited Coors Field in late April, and the southpaw is 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA in three career matchups.

He went 1-0 in two starts last year, yielding three runs and 15 hits in 10 2-3 innings. Trea Turner, who hit for the cycle against the Rockies for the second straight season in Tuesday’s 11-1 win, has a triple and a double in six at-bats.

Corbin looking to extend dominant form at home

Corbin (7-5, 3.40) has failed to register a decision in his last four starts, though he has been medicore in the last two with five runs allowed in 11 innings compared to conceding just one in 14 innings in the prior two.

Corbin worked in and out of trouble Friday night in Atlanta, yielding two runs and eight hits over five innings. The Nationals got him off the hook for a loss before eventually losing 4-3 to the Braves in walkoff fashion and spoiling Corbin’s 30th birthday.

The southpaw, though, has been sublime at Nationals Park this year with a 4-1 record and 1.84 ERA in nine starts. Six of the 13 runs he has given up there came in a May loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, and Corbin is 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA in his last five outings at home — striking out 42 in 38 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .180 batting average.

No stranger to facing the Rockies from his days with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Corbin improved to 9-4 lifetime against them April 23 after yielding three runs in six innings of a 6-3 victory.

Nolan Arenado is 12 for 44 (.273) with three homers and three doubles versus the lefty, while Trevor Story has more strikeouts (10) than hits (6) in 22 at-bats.

Notable Trends

The Nationals are:

  • 5-0 in Corbin’s last five home starts.
  • 4-1 in their last five in the second game of a doubleheader.
  • 6-1 in their last seven Wednesday games.

The Rockies are:

  • 0-6 in Freeland’s last six Wednesday’s starts.
  • 0-7 in their last seven in the second game of a doubleheader.
  • 1-4 in Freeland’s last five road starts vs. above-.500 teams.

*****5-Star Pick*****

Nationals -0.5 runs (+115)

A confidence pick in Corbin pitching at Nationals Park, where the Nationals have led after five innings in all but one of his nine starts (8-1). The Rockies have also led just once at the midway point in their last eight games (1-6-1) overall and once in their last seven (1-5-1) on the road.

****4-Star Pick****

Rockies -2.5 runs (+130)

Given Corbin’s blistering home form and Freeland’s on-going struggles, there is a willingness to be aggressive on the run line and seek the alternate line PointsBet.com is offering.

While Corbin has not exactly racked up the wins, the Nationals have in his starts, going 16-6 when he takes the ball. Additionally, Freeland has yet to show any sort of extended consistency in thinking he will be able to pitch the Rockies to a victory in this game.

Nationals OVER 1.5 runs first 3 innings (-115)

After finally scoring a first-inning run in Tuesday’s victory — the first time it took place since the All-Star break — coupled with Freeland’s early struggles, the expectation is the Nationals to pick up where they left off and scratch out at least two runs early.

Freeland’s best ERA in his first three innings is 6.59, and his third-inning ERA is 14.54. Opponents are hitting .404 in the third and .321 in the first. The lefty has given up more than one run in three of the six innings covering the first three frames in his two starts.

***3-Star Picks***

UNDER 9.5 runs (-105)

The expectation is the line will be either 9 or 9.5 runs, and Corbin’s home form makes the under a slight lean. The under has delivered in his last four starts overall and in his last five at Nationals Park.

There is some hope for Freeland since this game is not at Coors, and the under has gone 6-2 in his last eight road starts versus above-.500 teams. But with seven of his eight starts ending in double-digit run totals, the lean for the under is only slight.

Nationals win/UNDER 9.5 runs double (+180)

This is an overall confidence pick in Corbin and the Nationals, coupled with the belief Freeland will do just enough to keep Washington under the number in the nightcap. Colorado had a similar performance in its July 15 doubleheader against San Francisco, losing the nightcap and delivering the under in a 2-1 defeat.

UNDER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-131)

Again, this pick is riding Corbin’s home form, as the five-inning under is 5-2-2 in his nine starts there. The under has also delivered in his last six starts overall. While Freeland has yet to help deliver the under in his two starts since his recall, the Rockies have scored one or no runs in the first five innings in five of their last eight games.


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