The Colorado Rockies welcome National League West foe Arizona to Coors Field today as the two teams kick start their 2011 seasons. First pitch in this afternoon's game, which features starting pitchers Ian Kennedy and Ubaldo Jimenez, is scheduled for 4:10pm ET. MLB Odds and Predictions have Colorado listed as a -200 moneyline favorite; the Under 8.5 is listed as a -115 favorite.
Arizona finished a dismal 65-97 last season, but it did experience a fair amount of success against its far superior rival, Colorado. In fact, the Diamondbacks made a three game contribution to the Rockies late skid, which reached eight games before the conclusion of the season mercifully ended it.
Arizona will attempt to run its win streak against Colorado to four games today with a young Ian Kennedy on the hill. Kennedy is coming off his first full season in the big leagues and his performance gave the Diamondbacks much to be excited about. The USC grad finished the year with a 9-10 record, but his 3.80 ERA and 168 strikeouts were indicative of the ability he possesses.
Kennedy's spring training effort did nothing to quell expectations as he struck out 24 batters in 22 innings pitched.
Colorado figures to be a player in the NL West race, once again, and at least a portion of that sentiment is derived from No. 1 starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez, who will take the mound for the Rockies this afternoon, was nearly unhittable in the months of April and May last year which led to a 19-8 and 2.88 ERA season.
Jimenez did fade down the stretch, but his stuff is, without question, some of the best in the major leagues, a fact the Diamondbacks can attest to. The 27 year old tallied a 3-2 record in six starts against Arizona last season, but he allowed just 28 hits and 11 earned runs while striking out 34 in 37 innings pitched.
If history holds true the Diamondbacks run against the Rockies will end today. Colorado has won six in a row and seven of its last nine against Arizona at Coors Field (average margin of victory? 4.8 runs per game).
Diamondbacks vs Rockies Odds 2011 MLB Predictions:
Arizona Diamondbacks +1.5 (-125), Over 8.5 (-105), +170 (Moneyline)
Colorado Rockies -1.5 (+105), Under 8.5 (-115), -200 (Moneyline)