Chicago Cubs (25-9) vs Atlanta Braves (24-10)
Tyler Chatwood (3-3) vs Brandon McCarthy (4-2)
MLB: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018, 7:35 PM ET | SunTrust Park
ODDS: Cubs -111 / Braves +101
FREE MLB PICK CHICAGO CUBS VS ATLANTA BRAVES
The Cubs and Braves face off tonight in the third game of their weird 4 game set. Monday the two teams played in Chicago to make up a rainout from earlier. Yesterday they played again but this time in Atlanta in the first game on their regularly scheduled series. The Braves were able to hold on Monday in Chicago winning 6-5. In that game the Cubs loaded the bases with 1 out but were only able to score when Ian Happ was hit with a pitch and forced a run in. Last night the Braves entered the 9th with the lead again but this time the Cubs were able to get two runs on a double by Addison Russel and a single by Ben Zobrist. Those two runs put the Cubs ahead 3-2 and they were able to close it out for the win. Even with the loss the Braves still have the best record in the National League by a half game over the Diamondbacks.
The Cubs will send out righty Tyler Chatwood (3-3) for tonight’s game. After starting the year 0-3 he has won his last 3 starts and has pitched well during those games. It has also coincided with the Cubs bats waking up. After scoring 3 or fewer runs in 10 straight games and 11 out of 12 games, they have scored 7.6 runs per game over their last 8 games. Six of which they have won. This is the offense everybody expected of the Cubs at the start of the season, but it seems like they are taking a little bit to adjust to new hitting coach Chili Davis’ style. Plus Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras got off to terrible starts. Both are starting to heat up at the right time and Kris Bryant and Javier Baez continue to hit well. Even with their scoring wows they still own the second best run differential in the National League at +54. The only team better than them is their opponent today the Braves.
The Braves counter today with Brandon McCarthy (4-2). McCarthy started the year off going 4-0 with two no-decisions in his first 6 starts. During that time he gave up only 13 total runs, 11 of which were earned. But in his last two starts, both losses, he has been horrible giving up 14 runs in just 8.1 innings pitched. He also gave up 23 hits during that time. He is hoping to right the ship tonight, but the Cubs have been hot so it will be a tough task. He will hope his high powered offense can give him an early lead. Ozzie Albies has been electric in the lead off spot. He is batting .278 with 13 home runs and 31 rbi’s. It does not get any easier after him as Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. is hitting .264 with 4 home runs and 7 rbi’s in just 19 games. Those two players look to be the future of the Braves. They may be the future but two veterans are hitting well right behind them also. Freddie Freeman is .318 and Nick Markakis is hitting .337. This lineup has been a surprise so far this season but they are meshing well and scoring a lot of runs. The lead the league with a +56 run differential, 2 more than the aforementioned Cubs.
CTS 365 BETTING TRENDS
These two teams have split their first four meetings this year. Both Cubs wins have been of the comeback variety. In Chicago earlier this year they came back from 9-2 down in horrible conditions when the Braves had a melt down. Then they came back to win last night in the 9th. With the pitchers that the two teams are trotting out today it could be a high scoring game. Chatwood for the Cubs has had some control issues so far this year and that could lead to trouble with the power packed lineup the Braves are rolling out. McCarthy for the Braves, though, has been awful in his last two starts. Currently this is two pitchers going in opposite directions. Chatwood is throwing the best he has all year while McCarthy is definitely struggling. Both of these offenses can score a lot of runs, but I think the Cubs will take advantage of McCarthy in this one. The Cubs are starting to find their stride and their top hitters and getting going all together. If they stay hot they could reel off a lot of wins in a short period of time. The Braves will put up a great fight today but the Cubs take this one. Take the Cubs in this one