Colorado Rockies series preview: Three game series in Atlanta

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30: Chad Bettis #35 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a game at Coors Field on September 30, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30: Chad Bettis #35 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a game at Coors Field on September 30, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The Rockies will head to Atlanta to face the Braves to wrap up their six-game road trip. The first half of the trip was spent in Kansas City against the Royals were the Rockies lost two out of three. The Rockies faced the Braves in a four-game series at Coors Field just last week each team won two of the games.

The Rockies will be starting a three-game weekend series with the Atlanta Braves tonight at 5:35 MST (weird time, I know) but before the series starts, here are some keys to the series.

Friday’s starting pitchers

For all three games in the upcoming series, the Braves probable starting pitchers all faced the Rockies last week in their four-game series at Coors Field. Tonight, the Braves starter is going to be Julio Teheran. He is 7-11 with a 5.02 ERA this season. When he faced the Rockies, he went seven shutout innings while allowing three walks and only four hits.

In his most recent start, however, he faced the Cincinnati Reds and he went six innings allowing eight hits, five runs (four earned), three walks, and seven strikeouts.

Teheran will be facing Chad Bettis, who is still looking for his first win of the season. He does not have a decision in his first two starts and he has an ERA of 1.93. He has gone seven innings each of the starts and allowed 14 total hits, only one walk, and three runs.

Teheran and Bettis faced each other in the first game of the series last week at Coors and the Rockies won the game 3-0 after former Rex Brothers was charged with all three runs.

Saturday’s probable starters

Sean Newcomb and Kyle Freeland are the scheduled starters for the Braves and Rockies.

Newcomb is 2-7 with a 4.13 ERA. Freeland is 11-8 with a 3.71 ERA.

They faced each other in the second game of the series ten days ago. Newcomb went six innings allowing five hits, three runs, four walks, and eight strikeouts. Freeland went six innings allowing four hits, three runs, two walks, and five strikeouts.

The Rockies lost the game 4-3.

Sunday’s probable starters

Mike Foltynewicz and Jon Gray are the scheduled starters for each team on Sunday and they also faced each other during the Braves/Rockies series at Coors.

Foltynewicz went 3 1/3 innings allowing nine hits, eight runs, three walks, and five strikeouts. He is 10-9 with a 4.95 ERA on the season.

Gray went six innings allowing five hits, two runs, two hits, and six strikeouts. On the season, he is 5-3 with a 4.54 ERA.

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The Rockies offense

The Rockies offensive issues in August have been well-documented (we talked about it recently in this article).

The Rockies have only averaged 4.4 runs a game in the month. In the first two games of the series against the Braves (in which they were facing each of the Braves’ probable starters for this weekend), the Rockies scored three runs in each game. However, against Mike Foltynewicz, the Rockies tallied 17 runs that night. Without that game, the Rockies average runs per game is around 3.8 for the month.

The Braves offense and bullpen

The Braves offense is something that the team has struggled with all year. They are in the bottom of nearly every offensive category.

The bullpen is something that the Rockies can get to. They have a 4.83 ERA for the month of August and in July, they had an ERA of 6.83 (we discussed both of them in detail in our series preview between the two teams from ten days ago).

Next: Raimel Tapia honors Alfonso Soriano

Final Thoughts

The Rockies have struggled in the month of August and as a result, their wild card lead had dwindled as the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Miami Marlins are all within 5.5 games of the Rockies for it.

If they want to preserve their spot and overtake the Diamondbacks to get home field advantage in the Wild Card game, it’s time for the Rockies to kick in gear. If they don’t, they won’t make it to the playoffs.

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