Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves
|Date & Time||Monday April 1, 2019, 7:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Cubs -113 / Atlanta Braves -107 -- Over/Under: 8
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The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves meet Monday in MLB action at SunTrust Park.
The Chicago Cubs look to bounce back after losing a three-game series to the Texas Rangers. The Cubs pitching staff allowed a combined 23 earned runs and walked 20 batters. While that’s not expected to continue long term, there is some reason for concern when you consider the drop-off the Cubs have had since winning the World Series. The Chicago Cubs haven’t started a season 1-3 since 2014. Javier Baez leads the Cubs with six hits and six RBI while Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant have combined for nine hits and seven RBI. Kyle Hendricks gets the ball, and he was 14-11 with a 3.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts last season. Hendricks is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA and 18 strikeouts in his career against the Braves.
The Atlanta Braves also need a win after getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves pitching staff allowed 23 runs, proving the critics right who said they needed to address pitching during the offseason. Maybe some homecoming improves things, but the Braves certainly have some questions to answer rather quickly. The Atlanta Braves hope to avoid their second 0-4 start in the last four years. Freddie Freeman leads the Braves with six hits and two RBI while Ozzie Albies and Tyler Flowers have combined for five hits. Sean Newcomb gets the ball, and he was 12-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 160 strikeouts last season. Newcomb is 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA and 19 strikeouts in his career against the Cubs.
The Cubs are 37-18 in their last 55 vs. National League East, 4-0 in Hendricks' last 4 road starts and 6-1 in Hendricks' last 7 starts. The Braves are 6-1 in their last 7 home games, 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games and 1-4 in Newcomb's last 5 home starts. The Cubs are 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Atlanta and 18-7 in the last 25 meetings. The over is 3-0-1 in Braves last 4 overall. The under is 35-16 in Hendricks' last 51 starts overall.
The Chicago Cubs are always worth a look at cheap prices given their combination of talent and experience, a team that's never rattled and always competes. Newcomb was also god awful at home last season, which included an ERA of 5.12 and an allowed batting average of .257. The problem is I'm not giving up on the Atlanta Braves, a team I considered a dark horse World Series threat. A return home should help the Braves settle down and put together good at bats. Yes, the pitching needs to improve, but the Braves are more than capable of winning many games with one of the top lineups in baseball. The Braves can't afford to dig a hole too deep in the improved NL East. I'll take the Braves and the cheap price.