Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves Predictions, Odds & Picks
- How Cubs offense flipped the switch
- Charlie Morton needs to turn the corner
- X-factor to watch on both sides
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Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves Odds
|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Chicago Cubs||+1.5 (-148) |
|O 8.5 (-114) |
|Atlanta Braves||-1.5 (+123) |
|U 8.5 (-107) |
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Cubs vs Braves Predictions and Picks
The Cubs offense has finally woken up and it’s no coincidence that their season has turned around. Three times in the last week they’ve scored 13 runs or more — some teams don’t score 13 runs or more three times in a whole season. However Atlanta still has not only the better pitcher on the field but the best player on the field. It’s only a matter of time before the Braves turn it around. We like Atlanta against the spread and the over.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (12-6-1)
How to Watch Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
|San Diego Padres vs Atlanta Braves Information|
|What||San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Where||Trust Park, Atlanta, Georgia|
|When||Monday, April 26, 7:05 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN, Marquee Sports Network|
Cubs Offense Got Right When It Needed To
Through the first two to three weeks of the season, the Cubs had the worst offense in all of baseball, scoring just 32 runs in the last 13 games. They’ve scored (58+ x) over just the next eight games total and the reason why is very simple — their stars are playing like stars again.
After the worst year of his career in 2020, Kris Bryant has had one of the best rebounds of anybody this season. Bryant is hitting .309 with a .392 OBP — both of which lead the team. He’s hitting for power, too, belting five home runs to go with 12 RBI and a team-high 43 total bases.
The other guy who is back to his old ways is Javy Baez. Baez is hitting for power so far in 2021, leading the team with six home runs and 17 RBIs. If there is an issue, it’s his insanely high strikeout rate and inability to draw a walk. Baez has 35 (!) strikeouts in just 73 at-bats. Nobody else on the team has more than 24. On top of that, he has just one walk all season long.
Chicago was 6-9 through 15 games and people were getting restless in Chicago. It’s not deep into the year, but you could feel the team starting to lose its cool. The offense is humming now though for the most part and that’s giving the north siders a little bit of hope for this season.
Charlie Morton Hasn’t Quite Found It Yet
The season hasn’t gotten off to the start Atlanta wanted it too and part of that is because of the state of the pitching staff. They knew they wouldn’t have Mike Soroka for the majority — if not all — of the season and on top of that, Max Fried found himself on the injured list just one start into the season.
But it hasn’t helped that Charlie Morton hasn’t quite been the same dominant Morton we’ve seen over the last handful of seasons in both Tampa Bay and Houston.
Morton is 1-1 this season with a 3.91 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 23 innings but that’s a far cry from his 2018-19 days when he had a 3.15 ERA or better for more than 350 innings in the stretch.
Morton is 37-years-old, so this signing always came with some risk and while he hasn’t been great, he hasn’t been bad either. He’s gone six innings and given up just one earned run in two of his past three starts, striking out 15 batters in that span and walking just four.
Morton hasn’t faced the Cubs since June 20th, 2014, when he gave up six runs in six innings as a member of the Pirates. The only person on Chicago that day who is still there is Anthony Rizzo — who went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI and a
walk on the day.
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X-Factors to Watch on Both Sides
Saying it’s important to watch Ronald Acuna Jr. or Freddie Freeman for the Braves does not count as an x-factor. Those are the two most impactful players in almost every single game of the year for Atlanta.
But really, Atlanta just needs to wake its offense up overall. They’ve been shut out in consecutive games, going 19 innings since they scored their last run. We’re going to call Marcell Ozuna the x-factor for the Braves in this one. The outfielder who just signed a $65 million contract in the offseason has come up woefully short of expectations.
He’s hitting just .184 with one home run and a .527 OPS — all numbers that pace well below his career totals. Once he starts getting things turned around, this offense will start to jump.
For Chicago, it’s Eric Sogard. Unheralded as he may be, Sogard has been hot the last week. He’s 6-for-10 the past seven days with two walks and four runs scored. He’s setting the table for Chicago’s big hitters who are cashing him in. He needs to stay on the bases to keep this offense humming.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.