The top two teams in the NL West get set to link up in Colorado once again, as the Giants travel to Coors Field to take on Troy Tulowitzki and the hard-hitting Rockies. This will be the first, and only, time the two teams play in May after each took two out of three in their home ballpark in April. And this matchup will feature two starters that were paired up the last time San Francisco was in Denver. Madison Bumgarner and Franklin Morales dueled to a 2-1 Rockies’ win the last time they faced one another. And the two lefties will get a chance to do it again Tuesday. Despite losing the first matchup between the two, Madison Bumgarner is a slight favorite on the road against Morales.
Wherever Franklin Morales has been in his career, it seems that he always has one good start in him against just about any single team. But that quickly changes the second time a lineup gets a look at him. And I anticipate this could be the case Tuesday when the Giants get another crack at the veteran southpaw. Morales has been his typical self this year, not overwhelming, but pitching well enough to stay in the starting rotation as basically a .500 pitcher. Much of that has to do with the fact that he’s pitching with a prolific offense behind him. But he might have to be a little too good going up against Madison Bumgarner, who was sensational in his last outing in Coors Field.
Bumgarner has improved his command to the point where most believe he is a bonafide ace, and the best pitcher on the Giants’ staff. And after many years behind Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, Bumgarner is prepared to take the reins as the number one guy that will lead the Giants into the postseason with the hope of continuing the pattern of a world championship every other year. The key remains his control. But Bumgarner has put together a string of starts to make me a believer tomorrow at Coors Field. He’s walked just one batter in each of his last three starts. If he is able to continue that trend and then make sure not to pitch to Troy Tulowitzki whenever he comes up in a high-leverage situation, Bumgarner should be fine and the Giants should win this game on the road.
Whenever two teams play the exact same matchup a second time, the advantage has to go in the direction of the better pitcher. That, clearly, is Bumgarner here. Take the road team.
Free Pick: San Francisco (-125)
2014 YTD: 17-7 +8.54