Game Preview: Braves Look to Sweep Rockies in Darius Vines Debut

The Braves enter Wednesday looking to complete the sweep of the Colorado Rockies. After an easy win in game one and an outstanding pitching performance yesterday, Atlanta will rely on Darius Vine in his first Major League game.

Atlanta Braves v Colorado Rockies
Atlanta Braves v Colorado Rockies / Tyler Schank/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages

The Braves enter Wednesday winning six of their last seven, getting complete hitting and generally solid pitching. While the Rockies may be struggling, Atlanta has played very well offensively and defensively, scoring 17 runs in two games while only giving up 5.

Tonight, the Bravos will be looking to Darius Vines for his first start. Generally, Coors Field is a difficult place to pitch due to the high elevation and large outfield. Also, unless you're Charlie Morton, off-speed pitches do not tend to generate as much movement. However, the young pitcher should feel comfortable against this Rockies team, and having the Braves bats hopefully take some pressure off of him.

Pitching Matchup for Braves vs. Giants

Atlanta will send Darius Vines to the mound for his major league debut. The 25-year-old righty was drafted by the Braves in the 7th round of the 2019 draft, out of California State. Since the start of the season, Vines has pitched nine starts across the FCL, A, and AAA teams, showing some success. His numbers are somewhat skewed due to suffering from shoulder inflammation in June. Yet, In all of his combined starts, Vines has looked good, producing a 2.70 ERA in 43.1 innings while going 2-2.

When watching Vines, expect to see him rely on a low 80s changeup, that generates many swings and misses. The change will be paired with a 90 mph fourseam fastball, 81 mph slider, and 85 mph cutter. The slider will have more of a 12-6 movement, generating more weak flys compared to the average pitch. Overall, Vines will not overpower pitchers but should generate many whiffs through his offspeed control.

Colorado will rely on Kyle Freeland, who tends to give up three or four runs nearly every outing. The Denver native generally keeps his team in the game, but should not threaten the Braves lineup much. On the season, the lefty has a 5.00 ERA on the season, going 5-11, with a WHIP of 1.47. Interestingly enough, for Coors Field, Freeland is more of a flyball pitcher. His arsenal includes an 89 mph sinker, 84 mph slider, 89 mph four-seam fastball, low 80s curve, and an 84 mph changeup.

Braves bats to watch

Marcell Ozuna has been the most consistent batter this month, raising his average by .32 points. Ozuna knocked a two-run homerun yesterday to give Atlanta the win while snagging another hit. Michael Harris II has also been heating up. The nine-hole hitter has five hits in the series, with a stolen base and two runs. His consistent hitting has been crucial to the team's success, giving Acuña baserunners and teeing off the top of the order.

Where to watch:

Date/Time/Location: 8/30/2023 at 8:40 PM EST at Coors Field

TV: Bally Sports Southeast

Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan


ATL: -250

O/U: 13.5

Spread: ATL -2.5