The opening odds start here
Colorado/Pittsburgh over 4 +110:
After suffering a 3 game weekend sweep at the hands of first place NL East leaders Philadelphia, Colorao (20-25) moves on interstate to visit the Pittsburgh Pirates (24-20) with hopes of ending a 4 game losing streak. On Sunday, Bryce Harper went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI including his 9th HR of the season and JT Realmuto added a pinch hit 2 run shot highlighting a go ahead 4 run 6th as the Phillies beat the Rockies 7-5. Andrew McCutchen added 2 hits with 2 RBI while Edgar Garcia got the final out of the 6th inning for his first win of the season in relief. Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless 9th inning earning his 3rd save in as many opportunities. Kyle Freeland lasted just 1 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, but Bryan Shaw picked up the loss in relief allowing 3 runs on 4 hits in the deciding frame. Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon each cracked their 10th HR’s of the season while Ryan McMahon launched 2 solo shots in the loss. Meanwhile Pittsburgh took 3 out of 4 in San Diego including a 6-4 win Sunday at Petco. Colin Moran went 3 for 4 and drove in 4 including his 4th HR of the season, a 3 run shot in the first inning as the Bucs built a 4-0 lead and never looked back. Elias Diaz also went 3 for 4 while Adam Frazier went 2 for 5 scoring 2 runs. Joe Musgrove improved to 3-4 going 6 1/3 allowing 3 runs on 4 hits walking one and striking out 4. Felipe Vazquez pitched a scoreless 9th notching his 13th save in as many opportunities. Cal Quantrill suffered his second loss of the season coughing up 5 runs on 8 hits in 5 IP with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Hunter Renfroe went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI as part of a 4 run 7th cutting the Pirates lead to 5-4, but it wasn’t enough. The Pirates trail first place Chicago by 2.5 games in the NL Central while the Rockies have since fell 9.5 games back of the first place LA Dodgers. These two begin a 3 game series at PNC Park beginning tonight.

It has not been an ideal start for Chris Archer (1-3 5.58) as we approach the first third of the season. The former Ray has gone winless since April 7th and has dropped his last 3 decisions looking subpar. The 30 year old 8 yea right handed vet has given up 15 ER over his last 12 2/3 IP (10.63) with just 9 walks and 10 strikeouts in losses to San Francisco, Arizona, and the LA Dodgers. Archer faces a Rockies lineup batting just .246 overall but is averaging a shade over 5 runs per contest while tied for 10th in the NL with just 58 HR. Nolan Arenado (.305 11 35) leads Colorado in all major offensive categories and is second on the club with 12 doubles despite going just 4 for 24 (.143) over his last 7 games. Story (.266 10 30) has hit safely in 9 of his last 10 (.286), while Blackmon (.294 10 28) brings in a modest 3 game hitting streak and has hit in 10 of 11 (.303). After the big 3 there is a seemingly steep drop as Ian Desmond (.219 5 20) has struck out 38 times in only 128 at bats and is just 3 for his last 16 (.188). David Dahl (.297 3 14) is just 2 for his last 15 (.133) after a hot start, and Raimel Tapia (.292 5 18) is only 4 for his last 22 (.192).

Colorado counters with German Marquez (4-2 3.80) who appears to be as inconsistent over his last 3 starts but fortunately has been given tons of run support. The 24 year old 4th year righty has allowed 12 ER over his last 18 IP (6.00) but has kept adequate control walking just 2 while striking out 22 over that span. He faces a Pirates lineup hitting just .244 averaging a paltry 3.8 runs per contest with only 42 HR, second worst in the NL only ahead of Miami. Josh Bell (.333 14 44) has done most of the damage for the Bucs thus far, belting a third of their team HR and a quarter of the run production. Bell is third in the NL in average, 5th in HR, and is tied with Cody Bellinger in RBI. Melky Cabrera (.341 3 14) leads Pittsburgh in hitting and batted .429 in limited action last week. Gregory Polanco (.280 4 11) has appeared in just 22 games this season and is just 4 for his last 22 (.182). Adam Frazier (.255 2 11) has a modest 4 game hitting streak (.278), but Starling Marte (.250 4 17) has cooled off considerably going just 3 for his last 20 (.150).

Nothing like dog money to get the juices flowing, and considering that despite PNC Park being more of a pitcher’s paradise, a worthy opponent in Colorado is capable of even hitting well away from Coors Field. Both starters this evening have had their difficulties stabilizing their innings and run allowing efficiency. Conditions are cool and cloudy this evening in western PA. Given the fact that the Pirates seemed to find their stroke in putting their offensive woes on hold this weekend at Petco, we feel pretty good about both teams scoring enough early and often. We hope to even our mark early on in this still rather young season and aim to get a jump on the boos early in the week. Best of luck however you play!