Well, the Braves have finally simmered down a bit after their red-hot start. A three game skid to the Pirates leave the Braves in a tie for first place against their next opponent, the Colorado Rockies. Coincidentally, these two teams also lead the league in home runs. The Braves have smacked 29 so far with the Rockies trailing by just one. Even though the game is in Colorado the Rockies don’t necessarily have an advantage home run – wise at home. Despite playing an equal number of home and away games they have hit more home runs on the road (16) than at home (12). Conversely, the Braves have hit more homers at home (16) than on the road (13). Another interesting statistic is that the Braves are undefeated when anyone on their team hits a home run. Neither team has a real advantage in the home run department in this series, but expect them to keep on coming.
The Braves’ first trip out west this year will be interesting and noteworthy. The Rockies are the Braves’ fourth opponent in a row with a winning record. The Braves have fared much better so far against weaker teams. Through their first 18 games they are 8-1 against sub-.500 teams while only 5-4 against teams .500 or over. This would be problematic down the stretch if the Braves can’t find ways to win against playoff caliber teams. This series could prove that they are ready to jump into the top-tier of dominant teams this year, as well as stop the losing streak. Luckily the Rockies have had slightly less success than the Braves against winning teams. Their 4-5 record against winning clubs keeps them at a pretty level playing field.
The Braves are one of the best road teams this early in the year. Their 7-3 road record is second only to Boston’s 7-2 record. The Rockies, however, have defended their home field better than any other team. Of their nine home games their only loss came last night at the hands of the Diamondbacks in come-from-behind fashion. This exciting series begins tonight with Mike Minor taking on Jeff Francis.
Can the Braves get back on track with a win tonight? Will winning this series put them in a level above the rest of the league?