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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves,
5-17-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#957 Chicago
Cubs -105
#958 Atlanta
Braves 9

Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 10:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Chicago Cubs (22-17) vs. Atlanta Braves (25-17)

Where and when:  SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday, 7:35 pm EST

The finale of a 3-game set between the visiting Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves will conclude on Thursday at 7:35 pm EST at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Cubs occupy 4th place within the NL Central division while the Braves are in 1st place within the NL East.  In game 2, the Cubs tied the 3-game set by picking up a slim 3-2 victory on 5-15-2018.  In this game, Kris Bryant went 2-4 with an RBI while Ben Zobrist, Wilson Contreras, Albert Amora, and Addison Russel each had a hit apiece while combining for 2 RBI’s in the win.  On the other hand, the Braves could muster only 5 hits for the game with Ender Inciarte having 2 hits with an RBI.  Ozzie Albies, Ronald Ocuna, Jr., and Johan Camargo each had a hit apiece with Ocuna Jr. having an RBI.

Yu Darvish pitched 4 innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits, 2 walks, 1 homer, and 5 strikeouts with an ERA of 5.56, however, Carl Edwards (2-0) picked up the victory as he pitched 1 inning while giving up 1 run on 1 hit, 1 homer, and a strikeout with an ERA of 2.41.  Mike Foltynewicz pitched 5 innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits, 5 walks, and 10 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.87, yet, Arodys Vizcaino (1-2) suffered the loss as he pitched 1 inning while allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 1 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.75.  The Cubs cashed in on the money line as slight favorites (-118) while the under was the play in that the total was set at 9 runs for the game.

The Cubs enter this matchup winners of 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 3-2.  For the season, the Cubs are averaging 5.33 runs per game (4th) with a team batting average of .253 (11th), 46 homers (17th) along with 13 stolen bases (27th).  Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.44 (5th) with 337 strikeouts (20th) with 17 quality starts on the season, good for 12th in the MLB.

The Atlanta Braves also enter this matchup winners of 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 3-2.  For the season, the Braves are averaging 5.39 runs per game (2nd) with a team batting average of .267 (1st), 54 homers (8th) along with 35 stolen bases (1st).  Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.53 (8th) with 377 strikeouts (9th) along with 16 quality starts (17th).

Lester Looks to Continue Solid Season for Cubs

Jon Lester (3-1) will get the start for the Chicago Cubs in the finale looking to maintain his outstanding form on the mound.  In his last outing, Lester pitched 5.2 innings while allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts in an 8-4 home win versus the Chicago White Sox 5-12-2018.  In his last outing versus the Braves, the left-hander pitched 5 innings while allowing 4 runs on 8 hits, 1 walk, 3 homers, and 4 strikeouts in a 14-12 home win on 9-2-2018.

Jose Bautista (.230 BA on 61 AB), Tyler Flowers (.200 BA on 25 AB), Freddie Freeman (.300 BA on 20 AB), Ender Inciarte (.063 BA on 16 AB), Nick Markakis (.236 BA on 89 AB), and Kurt Suzuki (.269 BA on 26 AB) have the most experience against Lester in the past.  Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Charlie Culberson, Ryan Flaherty, and Dansby Swanson are a combined 2-11 against the lefty in their respective careers.

Soroka to Make 4th Start of the Year

Mike Soroka (1-1) will take the hill for the Braves in the finale of this series on Thursday looking for his 2nd win of the year.  In his last outing, Soroka pitched only 4.2 innings while allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts in a 10-5 road win versus the Miami Marlins on 5-12-2018.  This will be the right-hander’s first-ever meeting versus the Cubs lineup, however, for the season, Soroka has pitched 14.2 innings while allowing 10 runs on 21 hits, 4 walks, 1 homer, and 15 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.68.

Trends

  • The Cubs are 6-2 in last 8 games
  • The Cubs are 6-2 in last 8 games on grass
  • The Cubs are 40-15 in last 56 Thursday games
  • The Braves are 6-17 in last 23 games versus Cubs
  • The Over is 7-3 in Braves last 10 games on grass

Both these teams will be looking to continue their success after a recent rough patch.  On one hand, the Cubs will be looking to win their 3rd series in a row while the Braves will be looking to get back on the winning track versus a Cubs team that has truly dominated them in recent matchups.  The Cubs pulled out a hard-fought victory on Tuesday night and I feel as if they truly have the Braves number, judging from the outcome from recent matchups.  I expect this to continue Thursday in the finale as the Cubs will roll once again to close the series.

Pick:  Chicago Cubs  

Falepa Emme

A true analyst for a variety of sports, Falepa Emme has been a sports enthusiast for decades. His ability to read, learn, write, and constantly think sports will offer a unique perspective to NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL, along with MLB contests. Falepa's passion for analytics in each of these areas will certainly benefit the reader in obtaining more insight into upcoming match-ups.

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