MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Braves vs. Rockies: Target the Total at Coors Field (September 2)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Freddie Freeman.
- The Braves open a series at Coors Field on Thursday night with a questionable pitching matchup.
- Touki Toussaint will start for Atlanta, while the struggling Chi Chi Gonzalez will toe the rubber for the home team.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick for the game below.
Braves vs. Rockies Odds
|Time||Thursday, 8:40 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings|
After a road trip that can only be considered a success since it included a series win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles, the Rockies will return home to welcome the Braves.
Atlanta still leads the National League East by two games, but a recent charge from the Phillies has the Braves watching their back very carefully.
With both teams entering riding some form of momentum and a pitching matchup ripe for offense, is there any value in a high total at Coors Field? Let’s dig into the matchup below.
It was all good just a week ago. The Braves brought a nine-game winning streak home for a miniature two-game series with the Yankees, but things haven’t been the same since.
Though the Braves did pick up a series win over the Giants, they were swept by the Yankees and then swept in Los Angeles by the Dodgers earlier this week. Now, Atlanta doesn’t feel as hot.
The numbers would back that up, too. Atlanta sits 26th in wRC+ over the last two weeks, hitting just .229 with a poor .278 on-base percentage. Though the Braves haven’t made that much hard contact, a 9.35% barrel rate over those two weeks represents how they’ve been able to find some power in between plenty of tough at-bats. That should help as they head to the hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Speaking of quality contact, Touki Toussaint will be the pitcher for Atlanta. He is due for a day of reckoning with a 47.7% hard-hit rate, which is one of the worst in baseball, and his sinker has been absolutely hammered all year. At altitude, this could be a tough start for the once highly touted righty.
Like the Braves, the Rockies have cooled off since a very hot run just a few weeks ago. Colorado ranks down in 24th in wRC+ over the last two weeks, which is surprisingly ahead of Atlanta. Unlike their opponents, though, the Rockies have some promising peripherals.
Colorado is still walking at a 9.4% rate and striking out just 21% of the time, adding to a .193 ISO. It has put together good at-bats and gotten the bat on the ball, which will help against a guy like Toussaint who relies so heavily on strikeouts to get him through starts.
It’s also worth noting the Rockies have 17 homers over the past 14 days, packing a real heavy punch in the power department and possessing the potential for a big night at the plate.
Then, there’s Chi Chi Gonzalez. The Colorado right-hander has been one of the worst in baseball with a 6.68 xERA and just a 13.2% strikeout rate, allowing a .418 xwOBA on contact. The over is 14-7 in his 21 starts this year because of his propensity for allowing runs and loud contact.
I’m going to put my money on the over improving to 15-7 with Gonzalez on the hill, which shows just how exceptionally bad the right-hander has been.
On the other side we have Toussaint, who should see plenty of correction with these exit velocity numbers he’s posted all year. You can’t get away with a hard-hit rate near 50% at Coors Field, particularly against a Rockies side which is not striking out and getting the bat on the ball.
This number should be higher, and I’ll play the over with confidence.
Pick: Over 12.5