Glavine Takes Hill

The first week of the season didn't exactly go according to plan for the Colorado Rockies and their hitters.

The defending NL champions look to get their bats on track in week two when they open a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Colorado -123 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 10 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 52% of bets for this game have been placed on Colorado -123 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Colorado (1-5) won its season opener, 2-1 at St. Louis last Tuesday, but has lost all five games since. Although it is early, the Rockies are tied with San Francisco for the worst record in the NL after winning their first pennant last season.

Their offense has produced only 10 runs - the fewest in the majors. Stars of Colorado's postseason run from last year such as Troy Tulowitzki (.192), Matt Holliday (.182) and Brad Hawpe (.211) are all struggling.

"Hopefully, this is as worse as it gets," said Tulowitzki, who broke out of an 0-for-18 slump with two hits Sunday. "Not too many positives coming out of losing. Hopefully, this is our low point and we don't experience this again."

The Rockies had plenty of distractions over the weekend as they were swept by NL West champion Arizona. Friday was their home opener, Saturday marked the unveiling of Colorado's banner for winning the pennant and on Sunday, the players received their NL championship rings.

"It's going to throw some people off," Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. "People like to get their routines down."

Colorado scored five total runs over the weekend, including a 5-2 loss in 10 innings on Sunday. The Rockies were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the finale and 2-for-26 for the series in RBI situations.

In contrast, Atlanta (3-3) is tied with Milwaukee for the most runs scored in the majors with 40. The Braves, though, won a pitchers' duel on Sunday, 3-1 over the New York Mets to even their record.

John Smoltz pitched five scoreless innings and Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer as Atlanta swept the rain-shortened two-game set.

Smoltz was pushed up a day so he could avoid the cold conditions in Denver, and Tom Glavine (0-0, 1.80) will instead start Monday. Glavine has had some success at Coors Field, going 3-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 career starts.

"I think, in order to be successful there, you have to keep the ball down and that's what I always do," Glavine told the Braves' official Web site. "So from that part of it, there's not that big difference. In years past, I think you were always fearful of giving up that cheap home run."

The 41-year-old left-hander began his second stint with the Braves on Monday in a 12-inning, 12-11 loss to Pittsburgh. Glavine gave up two runs over five innings.

He'll try to continue his success against Holliday, who is 2-for-14 (.143) against him.

Aaron Cook (0-1, 6.00) will take the mound for Colorado. The sinkerballer was the starter in the Rockies' first loss of the season. He allowed four runs over six innings in an 8-3 defeat at St. Louis on Wednesday.

This is Cook's first start at home since he lost Game 4 of last year's World Series to Boston, giving up three runs over six-plus innings of a 4-3 defeat.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in seven career appearances against Atlanta, including five starts.

Atlanta went 4-2 against Colorado last season.

Here are some top trends for tonight's matchup:

-GLAVINE is 7-3 when starting against COLORADO with an ERA of 2.78 and a WHIP of 1.206.

-His team's record is 9-7 (-0.2 units) in these starts. The OVER is 5-10. (-6.0 units)

-COOK is 0-1 when starting against ATLANTA with an ERA of 5.96 and a WHIP of 1.674.

-His team's record is 1-4 (-3.0 units) in these starts. The OVER is 4-1. (+2.9 units)

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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