The Colorado Rockies host the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-game series in a matchup of disappointing teams. Colorado is a major league-worst 21-37 at home, while Milwaukee had lost 11 straight on the road prior to their 5-3 victory at Houston on Sunday. The bullpens have contributed greatly to the teams being a combined 36 1/2 games out of first place. The Brewers lead baseball with 22 blown saves while the Rockies, whose home ERA of 6.13 in the highest in the majors by more than a run, are next with 20. Colorado, though, leads the majors by scoring 5.7 runs per game at home. The Rockies finished 3-3 on their six-game trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Milwaukee’s demise has come through no fault of Ryan Braun. The reigning NL MVP leads the NL in home runs with 29 and is tied for third with 77 RBIs despite not having Prince Fielder to protect him in the lineup anymore. Milwaukee rookie Mike Fiers, who lost his perfect game in the seventh inning of his last outing, has allowed two or fewer runs in his last nine starts and will be making his first career start at Coors Field. His counterpart – Colorado’s Jeff Francis – is 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA in his last three starts and 1-3, 7.33 in six home outings this season.
Brewers Rockies Betting
When: 8:40 PM ET, Monday, August 13, 2012
Where: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Root Sports (Colorado)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Mike Fiers (6-4, 1.80 ERA) vs. Rockies LH Jeff Francis (3-4, 6.06)
Fiers retired the first 18 Reds before Zack Cozart doubled to lead off the seventh his last time out. He wound up yielding one run and three hits in eight innings in Milwaukee’s 3-1 victory Tuesday. Fiers, 27, who was drafted in the 22nd round by the Brewers in 2009, has won his last three starts and averaged 7.3 strikeouts during that span. He hasn’t walked a batter in three of his last four starts. Fiers has recorded 10 of 12 quality starts this season.
Francis allowed a three-run homer to Matt Kemp and four hits in 73 pitches over four innings in Colorado’s 6-4 loss at Los Angeles on Wednesday as manager Jim Tracy continues to use a four-man rotation with about a 75-pitch limit. In his previous two starts – both at home – Francis yielded 11 runs and 15 hits in 7 2/3 innings in 11-6 losses to San Francisco and St. Louis. Francis is 2-3 with a 7.09 ERA in six starts against Milwaukee. Braun is 4-for-11 with two homers and five RBIs against Francis.
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1. Milwaukee closer John Axford leads the majors with eight blown saves – seven in his last 15 chances – while Francisco Rodriguez is tied for third with six.
2. Colorado closer Rafael Betancourt blew his fifth save of the season when he yielded Hunter Pence’s three-run homer in the eighth inning of San Francisco’s 9-6 victory Sunday.
3. Colorado won two of three in Milwaukee in April.