The Colorado Rockies are 19-30 on the season.  They are under .500 at home with an 11-13 record there.  All the fanfare that came with their World Series appearance last fall has officially subsided.  On top of that, they are dealing with a mass of injuries to several key players.  Their team stock, so to speak, is not high.  

This afternoon, they will play the New York Mets, who just got done whooping up on the Rockies by a score of 9-2 yesterday.  Surprisingly, the Rockies are slight favorites to win with a money line of -112.

To me this shows a lot of respect for Aaron Cook, today's starting pitcher for the Rockies.  If you watch Sportscenter regularly, you will rarely hear Aaron Cook's name mentioned, let alone praised.  

In fact, the opposing pitcher for the Mets is John Main, who happens to get a lot of positive press.  We have constantly been told over the past couple of years that Maine is becoming one of the Mets young stars.  His numbers support that idea.

Maine is 5-3 on the season with a 3.29 ERA.  Last season he was 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 191 innings pitched.  In his one and only start against the Rockies, Maine led the Mets to victory, giving up only one run over 7.2 innings.

Let's compare this with Cook for a moment, and keep in mind, if we weren't considering stats at all and were only considering general public opinion, I don't think anyone would argue with the idea that Maine would be considered the better pitcher.  I'll put it this way: who would you draft first in fantasy baseball?

Back to the stats: in six previous seasons with the Rockies, Cook has only finished the season once with an ERA under four.  In that 2005 season, he only got to pitch in 13 games.  If he had pitched the entire season, chances are his ERA would have ended up near his 4.35 career mark, as it did in all other seasons.

This season, Cook is 6-3 with an ERA of 3.06.  This stellar ERA is including his last two starts in which he gave up five runs to Arizona and four runs to San Francisco and took the loss in both games.  

So, it would appear that things are trending back to normal numbers for Cook.  Anyone who got excited about his six straight wins to start the season would be cooling down after his last two starts and Cook's past seasons combined with an incredible lack of public praise should help to dampen any hopes.  Still, Cook is favored to beat Main today.

Maybe Cook's six straight wins to start the season were more than a fluke.  Maybe people who had a chance to actually watch him pitch those games have seen something special and odds makers have to handicap accordingly.

At first glance, this game should favor the Mets, but if we have a chance to look deeper, maybe we would see what the odds makers have seen in Cook.  If I were a bettin' man, I would take my chances on Cook having a great game.  Win or lose, he will most likely keep the Mets bats quiet, or so the odds seem to tell us.


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