Chicago Cubs open MLB betting series at Rockies

By: Brad Young | Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicago concludes a lengthy nine-game road trip with the first of three matchups against Colorado.  The Cubs dropped two of three games at Milwaukee before winning a pair of contests versus Houston.

Colorado begins a six-game homestand with this matchup before hosting National League West rival San Francisco.  The Rockies traveled back home overnight after sweeping the Mets in New York, including taking both games on Thursday.  The Cubs enjoyed a day off Thursday to travel to Denver.

Chicago has gotten out of the gates with a 6-6 record the first 12 games of the season, placing the team in the middle of the NL Central standings.  Colorado (10-2) currently sits atop the NL West heap with the best record in the majors and largest lead of any division leader following Thursday’s doubleheader sweep in the Big Apple.

Friday’s forecast for Denver calls for sunny skies, with a high of 58 degrees and a low of 38.  This game is scheduled to start at 5:40 p.m. PT from Coors Field.

Chicago’s Matt Garza (0-1, 5.68 ERA) heads to the hill searching for his first victory of the young season.  The five-year veteran fell to Milwaukee Saturday as a 101 road underdog, 6-0.

The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with three walks and eight strikeouts over 107 pitches and 69 strikes.  The six runs failed to topple the 8 ½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash in both of his starts this season.

Garza began the 2011 campaign with an April 3 no-decision against Pittsburgh.  The Fresno State product tossed seven innings, surrendering three runs on 12 hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts.  The Cubs eventually dropped that contest as 164 home ‘chalk,’ 5-4, while the combined nine runs went ‘under’ the 12 ½-run closing total.

Garza has not pitched against the Rockies since 2009 when he was a member of Tampa Bay’s pitching staff.  The 27-year-old pitched five innings, yielding four runs on five hits (three home runs) with two walks and five strikeouts.  The Rays dropped that matchup as a 117 road favorite, 4-3, while the combined seven runs went ‘under’ the nine-run closing total.

Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 2.77 ERA) continued his early season winning ways by upending Pittsburgh Sunday as 125 road ‘chalk,’ 6-5.  The Venezuela native was reached for five runs (four earned) on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts over six innings and 102 pitches with 59 strikes.  The combined 11 runs went ‘over’ the 7 ½-point closing total.

Chacin started his season by blanking Los Angeles April 5 as a 106 home selection, 3-0.  The two-year veteran tossed seven scoreless innings on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.  The three runs never seriously threatened the eight-run closing total.

Chacin only has one career start against the Cubs, falling last season as a 105 road ‘pick,’ 6-2.  The 23-year-old tossed 5 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits with five walks and six strikeouts.  The combined eight runs landed directly on the closing total.

Chicago is now 22-8 its last 30 road games dating back to last season.  Colorado maintains a 39-18 record its previous 57 home endeavors.

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