Atlanta Braves (53-64SU, 62-55 RL, 60-53-4 O/U) vs Colorado Rockies (66-53 SU, 61-58 RL, 49-64-6 O/U)
When: 3:10 PM EDT, Thursday, August 17, 2017
Where: Coors Field in Denver, Colorado
Lines: Colorado -180/Atlanta +165
The National League East will duke it out with the National League West as the Atlanta Braves grapple with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado in game four of their four-game series. The Under is 7-1 the last eight games in this series. Pitching Probables: The Braves will trot out Lucas Sims (0-3, 5.71 ERA) in this game and he will be opposed by Jeff Hoffman (6-4, 5.15 ERA).
Braves Steal One In Colorado
The Atlanta Braves will not go to the postseason, but they will bite you if you are not careful and they did that on Tuesday night against the Rockies as they trailed the game 3-2 heading to the 6th, but scored one in the 6th and one in the eight to walk away with the win. The run in the 8th came on an Arenado error with two outs, which is a very rare occurrence for him. Scoring the winning run was Brandon Phillips. Sean Newcomb got the start and allowed three ERs on five hits in 6.0 innings of work, while Sam Freeman got the win for his scoreless inning in the 7th. He is now 2-0 with a 3.35 ERA on the year. Despite the win, they have still lost seven of their last nine games and are just 27-34 on the road for the year. Getting the nod for the Braves will be rookie Lucas Sims and he has gone 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in three starts in this his first year in the league. In his lone road start this year he lost 6-5 to the Cardinals and allowed four ERs on 10 hits in just 5.1 innings of work in the game. Sims was 43-40 with a 3.88 ERA in 135 games (123 starts) over six seasons in the minors, including 7-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) at Gwinnett (AAA) this year.
Atlanta has been a bit below average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 20th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.51 rpg, while also ranking 10th in hitting at .259 and 27th in homers with 121. On the mound, they have been poor so far as they come in ranked 22nd in the league in ERA at 4.67, while also ranking 23rd in WHIP at 1.40.
Arenado Error Costs The Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are in a fight for the top spot in the Wildcard standings in the National League and they really let one get away from them in their 4-3 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night. Nolan Arenado has won four-straight Gold Gloves at third-base, but yet he committed a costly error in the top of the 8t h inning to allow the Braves to score the go-ahead run. It was just his 5th error all season in 307 chances. The Rockies are still tied with Arizona atop the Wildcard standings and both teams have a five game lead over the Cardinals and Brewers, who are tied in 3rd, but let’s also note that they are not playing well at the moment as the Rockies are just 2-6 in their last eight games (Prior to Wed). Colorado has gone 36-22 at home for the year. Toeing the slab for the Rockies in this one will be Jeff Hoffman and he has gone 6-4 with a 5.15 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) on the year, including 0-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts and 2-2 with a 6.15 ERA in nine games (eight starts) here at home. In his career, he has gone 6-8 with a 5.16 ERA in 21 games as a starter and 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four day starts, plus he is 2-3 with a 6.07 ERA in 12 games (11 starts here at Coors. This will be his first meeting with the Braves.
Colorado has been strong on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 4th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.14 rpg, while also ranking 3rd in hitting at .273 and 19th in homers with 139. On the mound, they have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 21st in the league in ERA at 4.61, while also ranking 19th in WHIP at 1.39.
- 5-16 in their last 21 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
- 1-7 in their last eight road games vs. a right-handed starter
- 9-3 in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a losing record
- 11-4 in their last 15 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
The Braves are a sneaky team at times as they can jump up and bite you when you least expect it. Well, Colorado is in a fight for the top spot in the NL Wildcard standings, so they can’t afford home losses to non-playoff teams. The Braves are sending out Lucas Sims in this one and he is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in his first three career starts, including 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in one start on the road. The Colorado offense should have a field day with him. The Braves have been a below average offense and while Jeff Hoffman has poor numbers overall, he does have a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts and he is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four day starts. I look for the Rockies to grab a much-need win in the finale of this series, especially since Colorado has won 11 of their last 12 home games in this series.