After the general madness of Wednesday evening, the Atlanta Braves will take the field again on Thursday night and, this time, a different team will be in the opposing dugout. The Colorado Rockies arrive in Atlanta to begin a four-game series and the home team will place a five-game winning streak on the line.
The Braves are, unequivocally, playing some of their best baseball of the season at the moment and that provides optimism. With that said, it is likely reasonable to be skeptical of Julio Teheran’s current level of performance, and he takes the ball in the opener.
The 27-year-old right-hander did navigate six innings of one-run ball in his last outing and that is mildly encouraging. With that said, Teheran’s season-long numbers aren’t overly encouraging, with an ERA (4.33) nearly a full run lower than his FIP (5.33) and an unsightly walk rate of 4.48 batters per 9 innings.
Simply put, Teheran cannot operate at a high level with that lack of command and it will be interesting to see how he handles the Rockies in this spot. While Colorado’s offensive offensive numbers may look reasonably impressive on the surface (with the benefit of Coors Field), the Rockies have actually put a soundly below-average offense on the field this season and that could provide hope for a strong pitching performance.
In opposition, Colorado will send arguably its most talented pitcher to the hill in the form of Jon Gray. The 26-year-old right-hander boasts a deceiving 4.81 ERA on the season but, after a brief trip to the minors, Gray has been generally fantastic. He is striking out more than 10 batters per 9 innings on the season and, even with that ugly ERA, Gray’s peripherals (3.23 FIP, 3.09 xFIP) tell the story of a much better pitcher.
The good folks in Las Vegas make this game virtually a coin flip at the moment and, in general, that indicates that oddsmakers have more faith in Gray than Teheran. Atlanta does have home-field advantage and the superior offense, though, so it should be a fun night at the ballpark.
Stay tuned for all the latest (including lineups) as the day moves along.
Time/Date: Thursday, August 16, 7:35 pm ET
Location: SunTrust Park
TV: Fox Sports Southeast (Streaming: Fox Sports Go, ESPN+)
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, 106.7 FM Braves Radio Network