The Atlanta Braves travel to Coors Field to start a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Braves-Rockies prediction and pick.
Colorado currently stands at 61-72 and is 43-22 at home. If you put $100 on every single Rockies game so far this season, you’d be down $21 on the moneyline.
Atlanta currently stands at 70-62 and is 37-30 on the road. If you put $100 on every single Braves game so far this season, you’d be down $389 on the moneyline.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Braves-Rockies odds.
MLB Odds: Braves-Rockies Odds
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Atlanta Braves ML (-156)
Colorado Rockies ML (+144)
Over 12.5 Runs (-113)
Under 12.5 Runs (-107)
Why The Braves Could Win This Game
After getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Braves are looking to turn over a new leaf by sending Touki Toussaint to the mound.
Toussaint's last appearance for the Braves came from the bullpen, but he has proven to be a quality starter this season. In seven starts, he has pitched to a 3.69 ERA. Atlanta has won five of his seven starts.
The higher ERA might raise some eyebrows, but it's a highly inflated number thanks to one atrocious outing against the Milwaukee Brewers in which Toussaint gave up seven earned runs. In his other six outings, the righty has not allowed more than two earned runs.
Toussaint's most effective pitch is a hard sinker, which is especially important at Coors Field. In just 39.0 innings as a starter, Toussaint has drawn four double plays. 63.6% of his outs this season have come via strikeout or ground ball. The Rockies don't strike out much, but as long as Toussaint continues to produce ground balls, he'll be in great shape.
At the plate, the Braves can breathe a sigh of relief. After facing a murderers' row of Julio Urias, Walker Buehler, and Max Scherzer, they get one of the most hittable pitchers in baseball in Chi-Chi Gonzalez.
Gonzalez currently holds a monstrous 6.08 ERA, and that's primarily due to his inability to keep the ball in the ballpark. In his last 15 starts, Gonzalez has allowed a whopping 16 home runs. He has allowed one long ball in 13 of the 15 starts.
If there's one thing this Braves offense does well, it's go deep. They've hit the third-most home runs in the league, and seven of their eight runs scored in the Dodgers series came via the homer. If the Braves did it against one of the best pitching staffs in the league, you can bet they'll replicate it against Gonzalez.
The biggest problem for the Braves in that Dodgers series was that they couldn't get guys on base to do enough damage. Of the seven homers they hit, six were solo shots. Considering Gonzalez's WHIP is a whopping 1.44, those dingers should come with traffic on base this time around.
Why The Rockies Could Win This Game
Despite Chi-Chi Gonzalez's horrendous numbers, he deserves some pity for the quality of opponent he has faced night in and night out. In six of his 21 starts, he has been matched up with either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants, two of the best offenses in the league.
Of course, these teams have brutalized him. But a struggling and battered Braves offense is not the same as these teams.
For one, Atlanta is missing two of its best bats in Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. The Braves have been forced to replace Acuna with Adam Duvall, who is currently batting .223, and Joc Pederson, who is hitting .235. Albies, who went down against the Dodgers, should be replaced by Ehire Adrianza, whose OPS is a very mediocre .714.
Additionally, this Braves offense has been cold of late. They have scored more than three runs in only one of their last five games. It's not likely that Gonzalez shuts down this offense, but there's at least a small chance he can limit the damage allowed.
If the Rockies want to win this game, they're probably going to have to win it with their bats. The good news is they'll be hitting in Coors Field, and they'll be doing it against a pitcher who has struggled to find the plate.
The Rockies essentially become a new team in Colorado. They have one of the best home records in the league, and it's because of their offense at Coors.
Colorado's batting average jumps an astounding 37 points at home, with the OPS going from a measly .640 to an impressive .840 in the thin air. 63% of the Rockies' extra base hits have come on their home field.
The key for Colorado will be getting traffic on base and preventing Toussaint from being effectively wild. Toussaint has allowed 15 walks in only 40 innings. If the Rockies can take some pitches, get some men on base, and then use that Coors power, this could be closer than most expect.
Final Braves-Rockies Prediction & Pick
Despite the Rockies' sterling record at home, it's impossible to back them with Gonzalez on the mound against a team that mashes the ball. In Gonzalez's four home starts in the last two months, he has allowed 16 earned runs in 20 innings and six homers. The Rockies typically give up a ton of runs when he's on the mound, either because he pitched poorly or didn't give his team enough length and had to turn the ball over to a terrible bullpen. Take the Braves to get the win.
FINAL BRAVES-ROCKIES PREDICTION & PICK: ATLANTA BRAVES ML (-156)