Turn off the Willie Nelson music because Colorado is on the road again heading into the August 23rd Rockies at Cubs matchup. Bud Black’s squad looks like postseason contenders – when playing at home. The Rockies have won 9 of their last 10 at Coors Field, but at 14-46 are the worst road squad in baseball.
Chicago is the opposite of Colorado, in a huge slump playing at Wrigley Field where they’ve dropped 13 straight games. The Cubs send their ace and the MLB leader in wins to the mound on Monday, but can Kyle Hendricks single-handedly lead Chicago to victory as -122 favorites in this series opener?
Fade Rockies Away from Coors?
Something weird happens to the Colorado offense when they go on the road. Sure Coors Field is very hitter friendly, but the Rockies were 1-5 on their most recent away swing while being held to 2 runs or less in four of those defeats.
The Rockies did take 2 of 3 from Chicago at Coors Field from August 3rd to 5th. That includes a 13-6 victory in the series opener and a victory when Monday’s starter Antonio Senzatela (2-9, 4.58 ERA) took the hill. Senzatela picked up a ND in that game, after allowing 4 ER in 4.2 IP. Senzatela has very much contributed to Colorado’s struggles on the road, as he is 0-6 with a 5.80 ERA in 8 away starts in 2021.
Can the Colorado offense get going against Hendricks in the August 23rd Rockies at Cubs matchup? The Rockies scored at least 5 runs in five of their last six at home, with Charlie Blackmon hitting .438 over the last four. Trevor Story is just 2 for his last 18 though (.111) and is 0 for 10 with 4 K’s in his career vs. Hendricks.
Hendricks Enough to Back the Cubs?
Hendricks somehow leads the MLB with 14 wins despite the fact that Chicago is 18 games under .500 on the season. The right-hander tossed 6.0 IP of 3 hit ball in a 2-1 win over Cincinnati, but that was on the road where things have been very different for Hendricks on the season.
Hendricks has allowed 18 hits in his last two starts at Wrigley Field, with his last home outing being an absolute disaster with 9 ER given up to the Brewers in just 4.0 IP. Milwaukee went on to a 17-4 victory in that game, pushing Hendricks’ record to 6-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 13 home starts this year. That’s a far cry from his 1.85 ERA at home in 2020.
Perhaps more importantly ahead of Mondays matchup is even if Hendricks is great what will the Chicago offense provide? The Cubs managed just 5 runs in getting swept by the Royals over three games this weekend. The Cubs didn’t get a hit until the 6th inning in Saturday’s loss, perhaps saved only by a rain delay.
Free August 23rd Rockies at Cubs Pick
This contest is quite interesting. The Cubs are on a 13-game home losing streak, but are also up against the worst road team in baseball. Hendricks leads the league in wins, but has struggled at home this season. Senzatela also still doesn’t have a win on the road. Ultimately, you have to go with Colorado as they have the better value (+113) and numerous more offensive weapons than Chicago.
Rockies 7 – Cubs 5
Free Pick: Rockies +113