Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs Kyle Freeland (COL)
Betting Spread – Houston -155. Total 9.5
Back off another winning week from the Sunday Night Baseball article and here we have another good match-up. The Houston Astros stay home after their Mariner series and now host the Colorado Rockies. The young Brandon Bielak goes for the Astros vs Kyle Freeland for the Rockies.
Let’s start with just how good the Rockies have been this year to start, especially hitting the baseball. This team leads the league in many hitting categories and has a decent lead over batting average to the 2nd place New York Yankees. At 13-8, this team has been quite a surprise to start lead by Charlie Blackmon who’s hitting a robust .446. Well today, they throw out Kyle Freeland who at a surface level has been real good. 25 innings, 2.45 ERA sounds real good, but when you unravel this onion, things get ugly. K per 9 of about 4.5. BABIP of .230, 94% LOB, 20% HR/FB rate all do not project well moving forward. This is what is leading to his SIERA, FIP. and xFIP all near 5 and double his actual ERA. Anytime you throw a lefty at Houston, there is pause for concern and Freeland’s wOBA isn’t good vs righties or lefties ro start despite his low ERA. Also, he’s faced the Diamondbacks, the Giants, the Padres, and the Rangers, so not exactly the cream of the crop. Some good teams sprinkled in for sure, but this Astros lineup will be his biggest test. The Astros have a wOBA of .348 vs LHP which is really no surprise with how many big righty bats they have. For the most part, some of these guys have started slow too, so expect these numbers to get even better. All en all, we can agree Houston should be able to touch up Freeland for a few runs here.
Going for Houston is the young Brandon Bielak. Another pitcher who at a surface level has had a good start to the year. 15 innings and an ERA of 1.76, but there are some major red flags here. Another guys with a low K per 9 rate of less than 6.5, high LOB % at 85%, line drive rate of 25%, all project a grim future here beyond this 1.76 ERA. This is reflected in his SIERA, FIP, ,xFIP, all in the 5.00 neighborhood. I also looked at who he’s faced and he’s at it quite easy. Giants, Diamondbacks, Angels, and the Mariners, so not exactly the cream of the crop either much like Freeland. Bielak is also by no means an innings eater not pitching past the 5th innings once thus far. Allowing 19 hits/walks through 15 innings isn’t exactly a comforting feeling either. As mentioned before too, Colorado leads the league in batting average and should be able to get guys on the bases from Bielak tonight.
I ask you this about this game. Let’s say both these guys ERA’s were more of what they should be of at least 4.5/5 instead of sub 2, would you even think twice about betting this over? You guys know, I’m by no mean an over guy, but this line really should be either 10 at heavy vig or 10.5.It will be 99 degrees in Houston tonight which should help the ball carry and as mentioned these are two teams with beefy bats up and down.
As for bullpens, the Rockies have the 3rd worst and Astros have the 2nd best in terms of ERA. If we talk in terms of FIP though which is a better indicator, the Rockies have the 2nd worst and Astros 20th worst. If this goes to the pens, I’m also confident we get some runs. While the Astros have the better pen, Bielak is by no means an innings eater which will result in some average arms initially to come out from Houston before their late back end guys assuming their leading late.
When looking at this from all angles, this has the makings of a game where both pitchers will be in jams early on and some balls should leave the yard. Can either team cash in on multiple runs to push this over is the big question and I simply think this number is nearly a full run off at 9.5 which is why I’ll target the over here. Surface numbers impacted this total and I’m happy to jump on the over here at 9.5 for one unit.
Astros vs Rockies OVER 9.5 -110 (Fanduel in NJ)