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MLB: Crazy-good pitching matchup in Colorado Thursday

MLB: Crazy-good pitching matchup in Colorado Thursday


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MLB: Crazy-good pitching matchup in Colorado Thursday

MLB: Crazy-good pitching matchup in Colorado Thursday


2010-07-08

Thursday’s Major League Baseball betting board boasts some interesting starting pitcher matchups, none more scintillating that that in Colorado, where the aces of the Rockies and Cardinals will square off in a matinee. It’s Ubaldo Jimenez (14-1) for the hosts and Chris Carpenter (9-2) for the visitors. What makes this even more interesting is that both pitchers come off arguably their worst outings of the season, and will look to turn it around in their final starts before the all-star break. Jimenez is a -140 favorite according to oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com, but most of the key betting info indicates that is an overpricing.

For all the momentum the Colorado Rockies have heading into their series finale with the St. Louis Cardinals, their best player is lacking in that area. All-Star pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez tries to regain his dominant form and help the Rockies sweep a three-game set from the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon.

The Rockies (46-38) have rallied in dramatic fashion for both their victories in this series. After erasing a six-run deficit with a nine-run ninth inning Tuesday, Colorado gradually wiped away a 5-0 fifth-inning deficit to win 8-7 on Chris Iannetta's leadoff homer in the ninth Wednesday.

Colorado's surge could continue if Jimenez (14-1, 2.27 ERA) reverts to form. The right-hander has struggled in his last three outings - giving up 17 runs and 19 hits in 17 2-3 innings - after a phenomenal 14-start stretch to open 2010 in which he conceded 13 runs in 101 1-3 innings.

Jimenez, in fact, may have endured what likely will be his worst single inning of the year Saturday. San Francisco reached him for seven runs in the third, but the Rockies bailed out their staff ace by rallying to take a lead before eventually losing 11-8. Jimenez allowed five hits and walked four in six innings, but he still has a personal eight-game winning streak.

Despite his recent woes, a victory would make Jimenez the first pitcher to have 15 wins by the All-Star break since David Wells did so for Toronto in 2000. Greg Maddux was the last NL pitcher to accomplish the feat back in 1988 with the Cubs.

Jimenez is 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals (45-39).

Chris Carpenter (9-2, 3.16) looks to help the Cardinals avoid the sweep. The right-hander had a personal five-game winning streak snapped Saturday when Milwaukee tagged him for eight runs and nine hits in three-plus innings of a 12-5 defeat, pushing his ERA up nearly one-half run following his worst outing of the year.

Carpenter did not get a decision in his only start against the Rockies last year despite limiting them to one run in seven innings. He is a phenomenal 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in five outings versus Colorado, going 1-0 with a 0.63 ERA in two starts at Coors Field.

There is a fairly strong FoxSheets Super Situation indicating that the edge in this battle of the aces could go to Carpenter. Take a look:

• Play Against - Any team (COLORADO) - with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 2.70 or better on the season (NL) against opponent with a starting pitcher whose winning percentage is better than 80%. (39-19 since 1997.) (67.2%, +20.3 units. Rating = 2*)

The StatFox Power Ratings show that St. Louis should be a -105 favorite, not an underdog, so the value really seems to be on that side of the line.

Carpenter has proven to be a good stop gap for his team on the road when dealing with defeat:

• CARPENTER is 54-31 (+22.7 Units) against the money line in road games after a loss since 1997. (Team's Record) The average score was CARPENTER 5.6, OPPONENT 4.1 - (Rating = 1*)

Still, the Cardinals ace will need to slow a Colorado offense that has pounded out 83 hits in the L6 games while leaving 79 men on base.

Game start time is 3:10 PM ET from Coors Field.

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