The Atlanta Braves have the opportunity to finish off a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies Thursday afternoon at Turner Field
Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves
Colorado has been outscored 18-5 in the first three games of this National League series and fallen 7.5 games back in the NL West standings because of it. The Rockies have been dealing with some major injuries in the heart of its order, missing outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, suffering from a right wrist and right quadriceps problem respectively. “Let’s face it. Right now, we are undermanned,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. “The big key for us will be, moving forward.” The club is currently a season-most five games below the .500 mark and hasn’t seen this level of futility since June 9, 2009. Offensively, the team is hitting just .202 in this series and has been outscored 18-5 in the process. Colorado is 12-17 in day games this year.
Rockies starting pitcher Juan Nicasio has recorded a winning 3-1 record and 4.10 ERA in seven starts this season and is coming off a brilliant performance last time out. The rookie picked up an 8-0 home win over Kansas City, tossing eight scoreless innings and allowing just three hits. Nicasio is aiming to record his first ever road win, going 0-1 with a 7.47 ERA in three career outings away from Coors Field. The rookie has received an average of 8.64 runs of support, which leads all Rockies’ starters.
Atlanta is 5-1 on its current home stand and has proven victorious in nine of its last 10 overall at Turner Field. The Braves hold a distinctive advantage in this matchup in being 27-18 at home this year compared to a losing 19-24 mark on the road for the Rockies. Offensively, the club is starting to receive contributions from second baseman Dan Uggla, who has homered in consecutive games and is 4 for 8 in the series. “It’s nice to see him hitting the ball hard,” commented Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez. “It’s not all of a sudden. There have been some signs.” Atlanta is 17-12 in day games this season and 72-57 over the past three years.
Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson is 7-6 with a 3.57 ERA in 17 starts this season and the club has alternated wins and losses in his last six outings. He recorded a 5-4 home win over the Orioles last time out, allowing three runs and eight hits over six frames. Hudson will be making his 11th home start of the year, entering with a 4-3 mark and 2.78 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .207 against him. In six previous tries versus the Rockies, the veteran has posted a 3-2 record and 4.86 ERA, including a no-decision effort last year in giving up four runs in six frames.
Bettors will likely back the Braves due to their 8-1 mark as a home favorite, while the Rockies are 16-41 as a road underdog