MLB Preview and Free Pick: Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
The second of a three-game set between National League playoff hopefuls receives the national
television treatment on ESPN tonight. The Chicago Cubs will be in Atlanta to take on the Braves,
who took the first game on Monday in convincing fashion.
Date/Time/TV: Wed. April 3, 7:20 PM EST, ESPN
Spread: Chicago Cubs -105, Atlanta Braves -105
Kyle Hendricks took the mound for the Cubs on Monday, and he was promptly tagged for four runs
in the first inning. The Braves cruised to an 8-0 victory, marking Chicago’s third loss in a row. So far
this season, the team is 1-3 (3-1 O/U).
Atlanta’s win on Monday snapped a three-game skid of their own. Ender Inciarte got the party started
with a first inning homer, while Ronald Acuna Jr. added on a dong of his own in the third frame. The
Braves are now 1-3 (2-2 O/U) on the year.
Since an Opening Day 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers, the Cubs have surrendered 27 runs while
scoring just 16. The team did manage nine hits on Monday, but they just couldn’t string enough
together to make any noise on the scoreboard.
Jon Lester has the starting assignment tonight. He picked up the team’s lone win of the season over
the Rangers, going six innings while allowing two earned runs and fanning three. Javier Baez has
been leading the way on offense for Chicago. He’s batting .389 with two HRs, six ribbies, and an
OPS of 1.143.
The Braves were swept in their opening series on the road versus the Philadelphia Phillies. A 10-4
loss on Opening Day set the tone, as the club was outscored 23-11 for the three-game set. The bats
came alive on Monday, as Atlanta pounded Cubs pitchers for 12 hits and eight runs.
Julio Teheran gets the ball for the Braves tonight. The righty faced the Phillies last week, giving up
three earned runs over five innings while striking out seven. Freddie Freeman tops the team with a
.500 batting average. He also has three doubles and an OPS of 1.325. The Braves have smacked five
homers through four games.
Cubs vs. Braves Prediction
Bullpens for both teams have left a lot to be desired through the early part of the season. To date, it’s
eight earned runs allowed by Cubs relievers, and 12 on the Braves side. Lester was solid in his debut
and closed out 2018 at 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA. Teheran was on the shaky side his first time out. He
was 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA.
The Cubs just couldn’t generate runs on Monday, but hitters were making contact all night. The runs
can come in bunches, as demonstrated by the team sending 28 batters across the plate versus the
Rangers over three games. We’re expecting more production tonight and looking for the Cubs to get
Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Pick: Chicago Cubs -105
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