Chicago Cubs (22-17) at Atlanta Braves (25-16)
|Date & Time||Thursday May 17, 2018, 7:35 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Atlanta Braves -105 / Chicago Cubs -114 --- Over/Under: 9
The Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves duke it out in the finale of their four game set from SunTrust Park in MLB action on Thursday.
The Chicago Cubs will look to salvage a series split with the Braves after dropping game three on Wednesday by a final score of 4-1. Kris Bryant led the Cubs, going 3 for 4 with a double, accounting for the lone run for the Cubbies in the loss. Addison Russell added a double while Albert Almora Jr., Willson Contreras, Javier Baez and Ian Happ each chipped in base hits in the losing effort as well. Tyler Chatwood gave up just one run on four hits over 5.1 innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Carl Edwards Jr. gave up three runs in the 8th, taking the loss to fall to 2-1 this season. Jon Lester will start game four and is 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 36 strikeouts this season. In his career, Lester is 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 56 strikeouts against Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves will look to win the series after their victory in game three on Wednesday. Tyler Flowers put up a double with an RBI, while Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Johan Camargo each had RBIs as well in the winning effort. Ozzie Albies went 2 for 4 with a triple and a double to cap off the offense for the Braves in the win. Brandon McCarthy gave up one run on five hits while striking out eight over six innings of work, A.J. Miller got the win to improve to 2-0 this season while Arodys Vizcaino closed out the 9th for his 8th save of the season. Michael Soroka will start the finale and is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA and 15 strikeouts this season. This will be Soroka’s first career start against the Cubs.
Chicago is 9-2 in Lester’s last 11 starts against the NL East and 1-4 in their last 5 road games while the under is 9-3 in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record. Atlanta is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a left-handed starter and 6-2 in their last 8 games overall while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games against the NL Central. Chicago is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams in Atlanta and 5-0 in Lester’s last 5 starts against Atlanta.
Lester is obviously the more experienced pitcher here and has had a lot of success in his career against Atlanta. However, the Cubs continue to be inconsistent offensively, and while Soroka doesn’t go deep into games, two of his three starts have seen Soroka give up one run. All in all, given how well the Braves have been playing, combined with the Cubs inconsistencies, and I think the Braves and the low line are the play on Thursday.