Struggling Along

Aaron Cook and Jake Peavy have been among the few bright spots for their respective struggling teams early in 2008.

Cook will try for his sixth consecutive victory while looking to help the Colorado Rockies to a third straight win when they open a three-game road series against Peavy and the last-place San Diego Padres on Friday night.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made San Diego -148 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 6.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on San Diego -148 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

Despite Colorado's improbable run to the World Series in 2007, that started by beating San Diego in a one-game playoff to win the NL Wild Card, these clubs have struggled early in 2008. Colorado (14-21) has won two straight, but also has lost 13 of its last 18. Last-place San Diego (12-23), meanwhile, has lost four in a row and is coming off a 2-7 road trip.

Colorado took two of three at San Diego from April 15-17, highlighted by a 2-1 victory in 22 innings in the finale.

As Peavy (4-1, 2.22 ERA) has done for San Diego, Cook (5-1, 2.40) has consistently performed well while his team has not.

The right-handed sinkerballer allowed two runs and nine hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 7-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

"Cookie has been our best pitcher so far, and anytime your best pitcher is on the mound you feel pretty good about it,'' Colorado outfielder Matt Holliday said.

Cook, who has allowed only eight earned runs over his last 35 2-3 innings, has pitched well against San Diego, going 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 14 career starts.

Colorado looks to stay hot after beating St. Louis 9-3 on Thursday to split the four-game set with the Cardinals. The Rockies, who are only 5-13 within the NL West this season, will need to improve their play within the division. They visit NL West-leading Arizona after this series.

"I never know how much carries over, what does or doesn't carry over,'' said Colorado outfielder Matt Holliday, who went 4-for-5 with three runs scored Thursday. "You just try to keep it going.''

Holliday, who has hit safely in six straight contests, is 8-for-20 with a homer and five RBIs against Peavy, who is 4-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 14 career starts versus Colorado.

However, he allowed only four hits and struck out 11 through eight scoreless innings of the 22-inning home loss to Colorado last month.

Peavy likely won't have his recent history against the Rockies on his mind Friday as he tries to help the Padres, who have lost six of seven to open the month of May.

"There's a sense of urgency every time we take the field, especially the way we've been playing," Peavy told the Padres' official Web site.

San Diego committed three errors and couldn't hold a three-run lead in falling 5-4 at Atlanta on Thursday.

Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-5 and Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in two runs for the Padres, who have been outscored 25-12 during their four-game losing streak.

Gonzalez has hit safely in nine straight games, batting .375 with four homers and eight RBIs during the run. The first baseman is 6-for-14 with a homer lifetime against Cook. Bet this game.

Here are some top trends for tonight's game:

- COOK is 8-3 when starting against SAN DIEGO with an ERA of 2.21 and a WHIP of 1.151.

- COLORADO is 4-13 (-9.8 Units) against the money line against division opponents this season.

- PEAVY is 4-4 when starting against COLORADO with an ERA of 4.05 and a WHIP of 1.352.

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