Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves
Dates Friday, August 25, 2017 - Sunday, August 27, 2017
Location: SunTrust Park, Cobb County, GA
With a win against the Royals on Thursday, the Rockies avoided a sweep and snapped a four-game losing skid. Colorado’s had a strong season overall, but has hit a bit of a rough patch of late. With their lead in the NL Wild Card hunt narrowing, this team needs to right the ship and that starts with the pitching. The Rockies’ young rotation has always been the weak spot, but now the bullpen has started to unravel with Greg Holland coming unraveled in the ninth. He was lights out early on, but having thrown 45.1 innings and notching 35 saves coming off an injury, he could be tiring down the stretch. That’s bad news for the Rockies.
Unlike the Rockies, the Braves have nothing to play for other than pride, but that doesn’t mean this team can’t be a spoiler down the stretch. To do that, however, they must start winning and they’ve been losing series left and right just like Colorado. While Atlanta is at home for this series, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The team is 28-35 at home, a half game worse than it is on the road. The second half has been particularly rough for Atlanta. They’ve gone 14-24 since the break. They’re losing in commanding fashion with the pitching and hitting both letting the team down.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Friday, August 25, 2017, 7:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Chad Bettis ( Rockies ) vs. Julio Teheran ( Braves )
Chad Bettis will be making just his third start of the season for the Rockies, coming back from surgery for testicular cancer. He’s been an inspiration on and off the field. He’s also one of the only Rockies’ starters to be well rested. In his two starts, he’s combined to throw 14 innings, allowing only three runs on 14 hits, walking one. He’s never been a high strikeout guy and has only struck out eight this year, but his command has been on point and he’s kept the opposition in the park in his small sample size.
Julio Teheran was one of the NL’s better starters last year, but he’s struggled adjusting to his new home ballpark and is 7-11 with a 5.02 ERA. The splits tell the whole story. The right-hander is 6-2 on the road with a 3.24 ERA, but 1-9 at SunTrust Park with a 6.98 ERA. Even against the Rockies, he’s to the point now that he’d rather pitch on the road at Coors Field than at home. It’s now a mental block for the youngster and that’s never a good thing.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, August 26, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Kyle Freeland ( Rockies ) vs. Sean Newcomb ( Braves )
The southpaw from Colorado is living his dream, starting for his hometown Rockies. He’s one of few pitchers happy to call Coors Field home. He’s leading the team in wins and ERA. He’s also the only youngster in the rotation not starting to fade as we approach September. He’s allowed five runs over his last two starts, totaling 11.2 innings and continues to give the team a chance to win despite the squad taking the loss in both those games.
On the other side, the Braves will turn to a rookie left-hander of their own in Sean Newcomb. The southpaw was instrumental in the Andrelton Simmons deal that sent the Gold Glove shortstop to the Angels a couple years ago and he’s looked good in his brief Major League stint. In 13 games, he’s only 2-7, but has a 4.13 ERA. He’s also striking out 9.2 per game. He just needs more run support. The Braves have only scored five or more runs in three of his 13 starts and Atlanta is only 4-9 when he takes the bump.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, August 27, 2017, 1:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Jon Gray ( Rockies ) vs. Mike Foltynewicz ( Braves )
Like Bettis, Jon Gray is more rested than the rest of the Rockies’ staff. Injury stole several starts and he’s just now making his 14th appearance. The Opening Day starter has the best stuff of the bunch and his strikeout rate illustrates that. He has also exhibited solid command in the zone and out with 21 walks and seven homers allowed in 69.1 innings. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last six starts.
With all the young arms in the Braves’ system, it’s Foltynewicz who is still getting the chances. He’s been okay as a back-end starter for Atlanta. His 4.95 ERA isn’t great, but he’s a 10-game winner and his peripherals outshine his numbers. The right-hander has also done exceptionally well against most the Rockies’ hitters in his career. Charlie Blackmon is only 1-for-11 and Nolan Arenado is 1-for-9. On Colorado bat that’ll be happy to see him, however, is D.J. LeMahieu, the second baseman is 10-for-12 against Folty in his career.