Braves vs. Rockies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Atlanta Has Value at Coors Field (September 4)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Anderson.
Braves vs. Rockies Odds
|Over/Under||10.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Attempting to fend off some heavy competition in the NL East, the Braves can’t be happy having split the first two games with the Rockies in Colorado.
Atlanta will attempt to right the ship and get back on a run with a start from Ian Anderson, but will the offense hold it back? Let’s dig into the matchup and find out.
The bats have yet to wake up for the Atlanta Braves, who now lost four of five games. Their wRC+ sits 25th in baseball over the last two weeks, hitting .230 with a very low 5.4% walk rate. Even traveling to Coors Field hasn’t helped, with just nine runs (that’s not a lot at altitude!) to show for. A two-run homer on Thursday saved Atlanta, but there was no hero to be found on Friday.
Could a hero come in the form of a right arm on Saturday? Ian Anderson has grown in confidence as the year’s gone on, cruising before picking up an injury in mid-July. He returned from an impressive rehab stint in late August to silence the Giants over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just six runners. He didn’t strike anyone out, which was cause for concern, but his hard-hit and barrel rates continue to improve. Allowing softer contact makes it easier to see a good outing at Coors Field.
It’s also important to note that the Braves have been alright away from home with a .235/.322/.408 triple slash in road games. While the first two games here have been split, this has generally been a good spot.
Speaking of good spots, the Rockies sure do love playing in Colorado. This team may be out of the race, but it has won 11 out of its last 14 games at Coors Field, including sweeps of the Padres and Marlins and a series win over the Diamondbacks. That success has actually led to some wins on the road lately, but back at home we have to take this team seriously.
The Rockies have ranked toward the bottom third of the league in contact rate and hard-hit rate over the last two weeks, though, which throws cold water on this run. While you’re always going to see more offense at altitude, if you’re not making contact with the ball (and making soft contact to make matters worse) you’re not going to have much joy at the plate. The Rockies are eighth in fly ball rate over that span, though, which could lead to some home runs if contact is made.
We’ll see German Marquez head back to the hill here for Colorado, who has been excellent in a few key areas this year. He’s ranked in the top 10% of the league with a 4.9% barrel rate this season, and his 3.92 xERA classifies him as a very strong and reliable starter. He’s brought strikeouts back up to 24.3% and the soft contact has been a nice complement to that. He’s also one of those weird Rockies pitchers who has better numbers at Coors Field, with a 3.12 ERA there against a 5.37 ERA on the road.
Despite the brilliance we’ve seen this year from Marquez, particularly at home, Anderson is starting to look like the guy we all fell in love with in last year’s postseason. That could be trouble for a Rockies team that hasn’t made much contact at all, let alone quality contact.
I haven’t been impressed with the Braves’ offense lately, but Colorado’s hasn’t been quite as bad. In a game with the matchup even (and the form even as well) I’m going to have to side with talent. The Braves have more on offense and in the arm of Anderson.
Pick: Braves ML (-115)