The NL-best Atlanta Braves (42-26) play host to the Colorado Rockies (29-41) tonight in the first of a four game set at Truist Park.

Colorado rolls into town winners in three of their last four games, including taking two of three in Boston. Atlanta returns home after a rare one-series road trip to Detroit. Detroit was Rock City for Money Mike Harris, II who got unstuck as the Braves won the series, 2-1. Atlanta gave away game one in 10 innings but won both games of a doubleheader yesterday, 10-7 and 6-5.

The Braves have won 8 of their past 10 and hold a 4.5 game lead over Miami…that’s right, you read Miami, in the NL East. Philly is 8 back and the Mets 10, losers of 8 of 10. The Rockies are in the cellar, 13 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. Thankfully, Colorado is in the NL. Let’s hope it’s just AL bottom-feeders the Braves have trouble with.

AJ Smith-Shawver makes his second MLB-start tonight. He will take on LHP Kyle Freeland (4-7, 3.91). Everyone knows the Braves mash LHP, but Freeland is a decent lefty. Four Braves in tonight’s line-up have homered off Freehand previously, while the Rocks will see Smith-Shawver for the first time. Let’s hope AJ pitches like Smith-Shover rather than his initials.

The Braves will look for Ronald Acuna Jr. and Michael Harris, II to stay hot. Acuna homered in each game of yesterday’s doubleheader, while Money Mike was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs. It would be nice if Matt Olson and Austin Riley got going behind Acuna. Olson is 4-for-21 with seven strikeouts in his past five games, while Riley is just two for his last 27 and has lost his way a bit again.

Game 2-4 pitching matchups

Game two will pit RHP Dinelson Lamet (1-3, 10.38) against Brave’s rook, Jared Shuster (3-2, 5.05). Again, three Braves have homered off Lamet previously, while the Rockies have not seen Shuster.

Game three will be an afternoon tilt, featuring Connor Seabold (1-2, 4.70) and Bryce Elder (4-1, 2.69). Both Seabold and Elder are unknown quantities to the opposition, though the Rockies would be wise to Respect their Elder!

Game 4, a Sunday afternoon matinee, will feature Chase Anderson (0-0, 2.72) squaring off against Charlie Morton (5-6, 3.60). Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell OHzuna have each homered off Anderson previously.

Braves call up Heller

Recently acquired Ben Heller was called up today from Gwinnett in response to our guy Jesse Chavez being placed on the 15-day IL after taking a bullet to the left shin Wednesday afternoon. Heller has had success and is a Nick Anderson-type arm that, when right, is really good. Let’s hope he is right in the A.

Picks to Click

I’m looking for Acuna, Riley, and Kevin Pillar as picks to click in Game One. Who you got?