MLB Baseball: Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 11, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 6:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-RM, NBCSP

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Phillies -190, Rockies +160
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: NL

Season record (entering Friday)
Rockies: 64-77 (4th place, NL West)
Phillies: 71-69 (2nd place, NL East)

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Rockies - Phillies preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Friday)
Rockies: 4-6 in last 10
Phillies: Lost 3 straight

The Philadelphia Phillies picked the wrong time to go on a small losing streak.

The Atlanta Braves’ recent slide has allowed the Phillies, and even the New York Mets, to get back into the division race. But the Phillies blew a good opportunity Thursday losing 4-3 to the Colorado Rockies in the first of a four-game series.

The two continue that series Saturday when the Rockies send Kyle Freeland to be the projected starting pitcher in hope of going toe-to-toe with Phillies ace Zack Wheeler. And that’s a tall task in of itself to stop one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball.

There’s a difference between consistent and dominant. If Wheeler was mowing down batters like he did his last start Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers (6 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 0 BB), that’d be one thing. While Wheeler is 4-3 in his last seven starts, it hasn’t been because of a lack of effort.

His ERA has gone from 2.45 to 2.91 in the matter of a month. Since his complete-game, 11-strikeout gem against the New York Mets on Aug. 8, Wheeler has gone 2-3 and allowed 19 runs in five starts. The last time he went fewer than six innings in a start, however, was June 22 when he lasted only went three and gave up three runs.

But Thursday’s game was a perfect reason why the Phillies don’t normally go to their bullpen. The Rockies scored three times in the ninth inning to preserve a 4-3 win over the Phillies, a rare victory away from Coors Field for this group. RHP Antonio Senzatela pitched six strong innings on the road, while LHP Ranger Suarez (6 IP, six strikeouts) did what he could for the Phillies. Condolences if you had the Phillies on the run line for that one.

No doubt Philadelphia is in better shape at the moment for as long as Bryce Harper is raking balls. The MVP candidate went 2-for-4 and hit his 30th homer, proving to be a thorn in the collective Colorado side. With one swing of the bat, the Phillies could find themselves with a 4-run cushion. The Rockies need to get more out of their starters if they want to capitalize and build momentum off Thursday’s series opener.

Prediction


Best to not think this slide for the Phils will continue for as long as this homestand rolls on for. Philadelphia, ultimately, is the better club and it has the better pitcher taking the mound. We like Wheeler and the Phillies to get back on track and get a much-needed win.

Betting trends


The Rockies are 39-65 (-8.6 net games on the money line) when an underdog this season.

The Phillies are 39-32 (-6.4 net games) when a favorite this season.

Key injuries


Rockies: 3B Connor Joe (hamstring, 10-day)

Phillies: None

Players to watch


Rockies: NL Player of the Month C.J. Cron has come back to Earth a bit since being given the honor a week ago. He’s only batting .207 with a homer in September.

Phillies: Jean Segura has been cleaning up well during Philadelphia’s run, batting .328 and hitting three home runs since Aug. 26.

Projected lineup


Rockies:
Brendan Rodgers (R) 2B
Garrett Hampson (R) CF
Trevor Story (R) SS
C.J. Cron (R) 1B
Elias Diaz (R) C
Colton Welker (R) 3B
Yonathan Daza (R) RF
Sam Hilliard (L) LF
Kyle Freeland (L) P

Phillies:
Odubel Herrera (L) CF
Jean Segura (R) 2B
Bryce Harper (L) RF
Brad Miller (L) 1B
Andrew McCutchen (R) LF
Didi Gregorius (L) SS
Ronald Torreyes (R) 3B
Rafael Marchan (S) C
Zack Wheeler (R) P

Statistical leaders


Rockies:
Batting average: Raimel Tapia (.277) 
Hits: Charlie Blackmon (121)
Home runs: C.J. Cron (26)
RBI: C.J. Cron (80)
Stolen bases:
Wins: German Marquez (11)
Saves: Daniel Bard (20)
ERA: German Marquez (4.08)

Phillies:
Batting average: Bryce Harper (.305)
Hits: Jean Segura (128)
Home runs: Bryce Harper (30)
RBI: Rhys Hoskins (71)
Stolen bases: Bryce Harper (12)
Wins: Zack Wheeler (12)
Saves: Hector Neris (12)
ERA: Zack Wheeler (2.91)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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