Rockies at Braves Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/29/2013
Certainly one of the most gruesome injuries in recent baseball history -- probably since the Giants' Buster Posey had his ankle blown up on a play at the plate in May 2011 -- happened Wednesday night when the Braves' Tim Hudson broke his right ankle. He was stepped on by the Mets' Eric Young Jr. while covering first base. Just a fluke accident. Hudson is done for the year, and while he might not have the best stats of any Atlanta starter he was clearly the team's ace and would have almost assuredly started Game 1 of the NLDS.
Atlanta's pitching was its strength but now it's missing two starters in Hudson and Paul Maholm, who should be back late next week. However, he wasn't pitching very well before he got hurt. Thus, the Braves suddenly are in the market for a starter and are heavily scouting the White Sox's Jake Peavy. Atlanta definitely has the young pitching the White Sox want in return for Peavy. The question is whether the Braves will pay it because they are all but assured of making the playoffs without doing anything -- they lead the second-place Nats by 8.5 games in the NL East. So do you mortgage the future and try and get a frontline starter to win the World Series or just go status quo? It will be interesting to see what the Braves do. St. Louis is in sort of the same mode, but at least it has an ace up front in Adam Wainwright. Atlanta now doesn't.
Monday's Rockies-Braves game is the first of a four-game set. And how Monday's Braves starter fares could well determine how active they are before Wednesday's trade deadline.
Rockies at Braves Betting Story Lines
Do you remember Brandon Beachy? Certainly anyone who plays fantasy baseball does. He was a stud last season, leading the National League in ERA (2.00) before going down with an injury that required Tommy John surgery last June. He's set to start Monday's opener. Obviously if Beachy pitches well, that lessens the need for Atlanta to trade for Peavy. Beachy had a 2.50 ERA in his final four rehab starts. In a cool stat, the Braves' starting five rotation will be all homegrown guys once Beachy debuts (Hudson of course came up with Oakland). That's pretty rare these days. Not many Rockies batters have seen Beachy. Carlos Gonzalez is 1-for-4 with a homer against him, while Troy Tulowitzki is 3-for-5 with a homer.
I really don't expect the Rockies to make any moves ahead of the deadline. They entered play Sunday six games out of the NL West lead and nine back of the second wild card. Maybe they sell off a reliever or something, but it's not the type of a franchise to make a big splash usually. Plus, most pitchers have the Rockies on their no-trade list, if they have one, because they don't want to see their ERA balloon at Coors Field.
Colorado starts left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 2.97) on Monday. He has been excellent of late, allowing just three earned runs over his past three starts, although none have been longer than six innings. He's not a big strikeout guy, one of those who pitches often to contact. De La Rosa hasn't faced the Braves this year and is 1-1 with a 7.24 ERA in 13.2 career innings against them. Justin Upton is batting .353 in 17 at-bats off De La Rosa. Dan Uggla is 4-for-14 with three RBI but also six strikeouts. Gerald Laird may get the start behind the plate over lefty-hitting Brian McCann as Laird is 1-for-3 with a homer off De La Rosa.
The Rockies are without closer Rafael Betancourt, who underwent an emergency appendectomy a little over a week ago. Lefty Rex Brothers has taken his spot.
Rockies at Braves Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Braves opened at -145 and the Rockies at +135 with a total of 7.5. All trends entering Sunday: Colorado is 47-55-3 “over/under” (23-24-2 on road) and 47-58 on the runline. Atlanta is 53-45-6 O/U (21-23-4 at home) and 52-52 on the runline.
The Rockies are 1-6 in their past seven Monday games. They are 4-1 in De La Rosa's past five against teams with a winning record. Colorado is 2-8 in De La Rosa's past 10 road starts against teams with a winning record. Atlanta is 10-2 in its past 12 Monday games. The Braves are 1-6 in their past seven against lefty starters. The under is 8-1 in Colorado's past nine series openers. It's 6-0 in their past six Monday games and in De La Rosa's past six series-opening starts. Atlanta has won nine of the past 11 meetings. The under is 4-0 in the past four in Atlanta.
Rockies at Braves Picks and Betting Predictions
Atlanta took two of three in Colorado earlier this season. The one Colorado win as a minor miracle as they scored two in the bottom of the ninth of stellar Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. Otherwise it would have been Hudson's 200th career win. You may remember the opener of a doubleheader between the two on April 23 as the game-time temperature at first pitch was 23, the lowest in the majors since that stat started being kept in 1991.
I am tempted to lean Rockies here because it's hard to know how much Beachy will have and how long he can go, but Colorado isn't very good on the road, and Atlanta is excellent at home. So take the Braves and the under but the Rox on the runline.
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