The woeful Houston Astros could lose as many as two games for every three they play this season. But Sunday’s home contest against the Colorado Rockies could actually be one of those rare wins.
The reason: Colorado’s starting pitcher Juan Nicasio is pitching on the road where he struggled mightily in his 2011 rookie campaign. While he went 4-1 at home with a fantastic 1.98 ERA, he was a miserable 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA when away from Colorado.
As for the Astros, the club offers up its best young pitcher, Bud Norris. The right-hander has been consistently more comfortable at Minute Maid Park in his career posting a better ERA and earning more wins at home than on the road. For sure, the Astros are weak, but they might be worth a punt at 2.20 compared to the Rockies, who are at 1.67.
I like the Miami Marlins at the Cincinnati Reds to be a high scoring affair. Both lineups are potent. The Reds were second in the National League in runs per game last season (4.54) and the core of its line up remains from 2011.
The Marlins did struggle at the bat in 2011, but are stronger in 2012 with the addition of Jose Reyes at the top of its lineup. The fact that the game is being played at an offensive haven – Great American Ballpark – increases the odds of a high scorer. Moreover, neither starter (the Marlins’ Carlos Zambrano or the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo) is coming off of strong seasons. As a result, I see going over 9 runs at 1.85 as a solid choice.