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Braves head West for some Mile High shenanigans

Braves hit the mountains to battle the purple and black

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Thanks to some late inning heroics from Dansby Swanson on Sunday afternoon, the Braves find themselves a game over .500, and will thus head to Denver with a winning record. Bullpen antics aside, the Braves had a good week, walking away from the first homestand of the season with a 5-1 record. If not for those aforementioned bullpen antics, it might have been a clean sweep.

Upon arriving in Colorado, they will be greeted by a slumping Rockies team which sits in a last-place tie in the NL West. They have averaged 3.1 runs per game - 25th in all of baseball - and have slashed .216/.282/.336 as a unit. After winning their first two games of the season, they have gone 1-7, and they spent their weekend getting swept at home by the Dodgers. To make matters worse, during last night’s game, two of the Rockies’ offensive bright spots on the season (Trevor Story and David Dahl) were removed due to injury. It’s early, but it’s already been that kind of season for the Rockies.

The Braves, meanwhile, have shown scary offensive potential even with Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Josh Donaldson waiting for their stats to catch up with their peripherals. They will run into a tough task Monday against Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland. Freeland comes into this match-up with a 1-1 record, holding a 2.31 ERA / 3.03 FIP. He arrived at this favorable line with two very schizophrenic performances - in his first start on Opening Day, he went 7 innings, struck out 5, and allowed only 1 run against a mostly punchless Marlins team. Then, in his second start against a potent Rays offense, he struck out 10 but allowed 3 runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Both of these starts came on the road, so neither one factors in the Coors effect.

Even if Freeland brings his A-game, consider me intrigued by this Braves lineup at a place where routine fly balls commonly find their way over the fence.

On the other side, Julio Teheran will take the ball for the Braves. Given his difficulty with the home run ball, Julio has pitched surprisingly well at Coors Field during his career. In 4 career starts at Coors, he is 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA. Most surprisingly, he has never allowed a home run there. Also, in his two starts in 2019, the only HR Julio has allowed came against Andrew McCutchen, the first batter he faced this season.

I don’t believe in jinxes, but a lot of people do, so...we’ll decide later whether any home runs allowed are my fault.

Another interesting story to follow in this series will be the weather. After last year’s April series in Colorado which saw frigid conditions and balaclavas everywhere, the temperature at first pitch tonight is expected to be around 70 degrees. Break out the short sleeves! By the time Wednesday afternoon rolls around, however, the temperature will drop to 49 degrees with 24 MPH winds expected - so if the standard Coors experience eludes us tonight, there should be plenty of it later this week.

In case you’re near Denver, it’s dollar hot dog night at the ballpark. So show up, support the Braves, and get indigestion for a low price.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, April 8, 6:40 PM MT (local time) / 8:40pm ET

Location: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado

TV: Fox Sports South

Streaming: MLB.tv

Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network

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