The Rockies head into this series with a different outlook than they did when they played the Braves earlier this season.
Colorado was one of the season's early surprises, starting off with a 13-5 record and the NL West division lead, when the Braves went out to Denver in late April. Knowing the NL West wasn't a particularly strong division, the Rockies started to gain some believers due to a strong offense and a few surprising pitching performances, but they haven't been able to maintain their early success, now sitting 6 back in the division with a 51-55 record.
The offense has continued to have success, ranking second in the NL in runs scored. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki have had All-Star caliber seasons, Tulowitzki has managed to stay fairly healthy this season. Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer have added solid seasons in the outfield. After hitting 28 home runs last season, Wilin Rosario has slowed a bit this season, hitting only 14, but he's nearly matched his win value from last season due to improved defense. He and teammate Nolan Arenado continue to have problems getting on base, but they've both found ways to be valuable - Rosario as a catcher with power and Arenado with stellar defense. What has really hurt the Rockies has been an inability to field an even capable right side of the infield. The merry-go-round of Josh Rutledge and D.J. LaMahieu at second base along with the terrible performances from Todd Helton and Tyler Colvin have been the black holes holding the Rockies back.
While the offense continues to score enough runs, it's the same old song and dance with the pitching staff. Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Tyler Chatwood have performed very well for the Rockies, and the bullpen duo of Rex Brothers and former-Brave Matt Belisle have been fantastic. Other than that, Colorado has received replacement-level performances from the rest of their pitching staff, though they haven't had any real catastrophic performances. Making things a little worse, newly-promoted Roy Oswalt and bullpen stalwart Rafael Bethancourt are on the DL.
Meanwhile, the Braves head into this series with a 12-11 record in July, and they have yet to have a losing month this season. Winning the first three games of the series - the fourth game of the series is in August - would give the Braves their second-best month of the season.
Monday, July 29th, 7:10 PM on Sports South
Tuesday, July 30th, 7:10 PM on Sports South
Wednesday, July 31st, 7:10 PM on Sports South
Thursday, August 1st, 7:10 PM on Sports South
Rockies - TBD