Resilient Dodgers Face Rockies in Denver: Can Paxton Lead the Way?

Resilient Dodgers Face Rockies in Denver: Can Paxton Lead the Way?

Date:  Monday, June 17, 2024

Time: 8:40 p.m. ET

Arena: Coors Field,

The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to face the Colorado Rockies in a crucial four-game series, with the first game kicking off on Monday at Coors Field in Denver. This matchup comes at a pivotal moment for both teams, as the Dodgers aim to solidify their lead in the National League West despite a slew of injuries, while the Rockies seek to build on their recent successes at home. Here’s a detailed analysis of each team, the starting pitchers, and why under 12 total runs is a smart bet for this game.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have been hit hard by injuries this season, yet they continue to demonstrate the depth and resilience that have become hallmarks of their organization. Key players such as Max Muncy (right oblique strain), Chris Taylor (struggling performance), and rookie sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto (strained rotator cuff) are all sidelined. The latest blow came with the fracture of Mookie Betts’ left hand, sidelining the 2018 American League MVP. Despite these setbacks, the Dodgers remain firmly in first place in the NL West.

Pitching Ace: James Paxton James Paxton, who has been a revelation in his first season with the Dodgers, will start on the mound. Paxton has a 6-1 record with a 3.92 ERA this season. His track record against the Rockies is mixed, with a 1-3 record and a 3.65 ERA in five previous starts. Paxton’s ability to navigate the challenges posed by the hitter-friendly Coors Field will be crucial for the Dodgers.

Batting Performance The Dodgers’ lineup has been affected by injuries, but they still have solid contributors. Chris Taylor, despite a slow start, has historically performed well against the Rockies, batting .274 with 17 home runs in 93 games. The team’s overall batting average hovers around .250, but the loss of key hitters like Betts and Muncy may temper their offensive output.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have shown resilience after a tough start to the season. They have demonstrated the ability to compete against winning teams, particularly at home. Colorado’s recent performance includes a series sweep of the Texas Rangers and series wins against the Cleveland Guardians and Philadelphia Phillies. However, they are coming off an 8-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Key Pitcher: Cal Quantrill Cal Quantrill will start for the Rockies, bringing a 6-4 record with a 3.30 ERA into the game. Quantrill has been instrumental in the Rockies’ mid-season turnaround, winning six of his last seven decisions. However, he has struggled against the Dodgers, with a 1-4 record and a 7.89 ERA in five appearances. Quantrill will need to overcome his past difficulties with Los Angeles to give his team a fighting chance.

Batting Strengths Nolan Jones’ return to form is a bright spot for the Rockies. After missing six weeks with a low back strain, Jones went 4-for-8 in the series against Pittsburgh. The Rockies’ overall batting average is around .260, which is respectable, especially at home in the hitter-friendly environment of Coors Field.

Top MLB Prediction Models

  1. PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm)
    • Total runs prediction: 11.5
  2. ZiPS (Szymborski Projection System)
    • Total runs prediction: 12.0
  3. Steamer
    • Total runs prediction: 10.7
  4. Davenport
    • Total runs prediction: 10.8
  5. Fangraphs Depth Charts
    • Total runs prediction: 11.2

Pythagorean Theorem

  • The Dodgers have a strong run differential and a high winning percentage, which usually suggests they perform better than their opponents on average. The Rockies have a weaker record and run differential, indicating struggles against stronger teams.

Why Under 12 Total Runs is a Smart Bet

Several factors suggest that picking under 12 total runs is a better choice for this game:

  1. Injuries Impacting Offense: The Dodgers are missing key hitters like Betts, Muncy, and Yamamoto. Their absence is likely to reduce the team’s run-scoring capability.
  2. Pitcher Performance: Both starting pitchers, James Paxton and Cal Quantrill, have shown the ability to keep games relatively low-scoring. Paxton’s season ERA is under 4.00, and Quantrill has bounced back strongly after a rough start.
  3. Historical Trends: Despite the high-scoring reputation of Coors Field, the Dodgers have managed to keep many of their games against the Rockies relatively low-scoring in recent matchups.
  4. Recent Form: The Dodgers have lost four of their last seven games and may be more focused on solid defense to secure wins. Similarly, the Rockies have shown they can win close games against stronger opponents.
  5. Prediction Models Consensus: The average total runs predicted by top MLB prediction models (PECOTA, ZiPS, Steamer, Davenport, and Fangraphs Depth Charts) support the under 12 total runs pick.


Considering the above analysis, under 12 total runs appear to be a solid choice for this game. The Dodgers’ depth and resilience will be tested, but their strong pitching, even in the absence of key hitters, should help keep the game within a reasonable scoring range. Meanwhile, the Rockies, despite their improvements, are facing a tough pitcher in Paxton and may struggle to rack up runs.

Ultimately, the combination of solid starting pitching, key injuries, and historical trends all point towards a lower-scoring game. You can feel confident in choosing under 12 total runs for this matchup. The analysis supports this prediction, making it a well-informed and strategic pick.

PICK: under 12 total runs LOSE