Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Rockies vs Braves


So the Rockies are playing worse on the road… crazy right?

As Alan noted in his piece on Justin Upton’s home and road performance splits two days ago, the Rockies are less than mashing away from the confines and elevation of Coors Field.  As of now, their road and home splits are as stands

Home:  .341/.391/.560

Road:    .251/.299/.411

Well then…

This should be helpful to the Braves, who will host this series at Turner Field, where the Braves historically dominate.  Especially after a very positive series against one of the better teams in the National League in Milwaukee, which saw the Braves score more than 4 runs in 3 out of the 4 games, all resulting in a win.

Rockies Pitching:

While the Rockies hitting has been completely non existent on the road, their pitching has been well… very similar to their home numbers.  When I take a look at any Rockies team, the pitching staff is something I always have to give a good hard look to.  Pitching in Coors field for half of your games is tough, and can easily help make numbers slightly crooked, but this simply isn’t the case.

The Rockies have played 24 games at home and 24 games on the road, totaling 10 more innings at home, and nothing outside of homers have really changed.  7 more home runs have been surrendered in Colorado than the road, but that is accompanied by more walks and the same amount of strikeouts in 151, which isn’t particularly an encouraging part about the Rockies pitching.

Georgia native Jordan Lyles, who takes the hill tonight, is probably the Rockies most effective pitchers, despite a few too many walks.  Lyles does a good job of using the great defense behind him to absorb the balls hitters can actually make contact with.  Juan Nicasio perhaps has the best raw stuff of the bunch, but can’t seem to fool too many with it, giving up a hit per inning and a gnarly 5.03 FIP.

So About That Offense…:

I think I’ve done enough talking about the negative aspects of team who is very well in contention in the National League West, so lets get down to it:  these guys can hit.

Troy Tulowitzki is currently setting the world ablaze, and not far behind him is Charlie Blackmon, who has a chance to be the breakout start of 2014.  Tulo has a ridiculous .484 on base percentage along with 13 home runs that lead to a .733 slugging percentage, and is currently batting .380.  The Rockies just might be winning back to back batting titles.

Nolan Arenado and Drew Stubbs are both defensive oriented players who’s numbers have been aided by Coors this season, and a revitalized  Justin Morneau round out the top performers of the Rockies offense.  Carlos Gonzalez hasn’t quite been all he can be in 2014, but a .276/.321/.477 is nothing to scoff at.

This Rockies offense is lethal, just inconsistent away from Coors, and the Braves would be wise to remember that.

And That Defense…:

One of the main things I can attribute to the Rockies success is something that isn’t affected by home or road splits, and that is the ridiculous defense the Rockies employ.

With Tulowitski and Arenado, I have a hard time believing any ground ball or line drive hit to the left of second base has gotten past these two.  DJ LeMahieu is a fine second baseman, and Stubbs, Gonzalez, and Blackmon have all the speed and range in the world.   There will be no cheap hits for the Braves in this series, I’m afraid.  Batting average on balls in play will be dropped this weekend.  Someone alert Chris Johnson.

Game 1:

7:35 PM EST, Friday, May 23rd

Probables:  Jordan Lyles (5-1, 3.50 ERA) vs Gavin Floyd (0-1, 2.41 ERA)


Game 2:

4:10 PM EST, Saturday, May 24th

Probables:  Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.03 ERA) vs Mike Minor (2-2, 3.80 ERA)


Game 3:

5:10 PM EST, Sunday, May 25th

Probables:  Franklin Morales (3-3, 5.30 ERA) vs Julio Teheran (3-3, 1.92 ERA)


Tags: Atlanta Braves

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