Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
The Cubs and Braves both stumbled out of the gate to begin this season over the weekend, winning one of six games between them. They’ll now go head-to-head when they begin a three-game series in Atlanta Monday night (7:10 pm ET, ESPN). The favorite on this game flipped in early betting action. Who do we like for our free MLB pick here?
The MLB Betting Line
MLB sportsbooks opened Atlanta and Sean Newcomb at around -105 over Chicago and Kyle Hendricks, with an over/under of eight runs. Early betting action then pushed the Cubs into -120 favorites.
Chicago could also be found getting around +150 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Cubs-Braves Betting Preview
Chicago just dropped two of three games to the Rangers in Texas over the weekend, losing Sunday’s series rubber match 11-10. The Cubs led Sunday 4-0 early and 8-5 into the bottom of the sixth inning but the bullpen proceeded to give up six runs from there, losing the game on a wild pitch by Pedro Strop in the bottom of the ninth.
Chicago won the season opener in Texas Thursday as a -110 favorite, but lost Saturday at -160 and Sunday at -130.
Atlanta, meanwhile, just got swept three games at Philadelphia over the weekend, falling Sunday night 5-1. The Braves took an early 1-0 lead Sunday but that’s all they got, managing just four hits on the day, while Atlanta pitching slowly let the game slip away.
The Braves lost as underdogs of +165 Thursday and +130 both Saturday and Sunday.
These two teams split their six meetings last season.
NBA Pick: Magic vs Raptors
Monday’s Pitching Match-Up
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back in August of 2017, a 6-2 Cubs win at Wrigley Field.
Lefty Newcomb (12-9, 3.90 last year), by our tough standards, finished 15/30 on quality starts last season. The Braves finished 15-15 with Newcomb last year, with the overs going 16-13.
Over three career starts against the Cubbies, one last year and two the year before, Newcomb allowed nine earned runs, 22 hits and 10 walks through 15 2/3 innings. The Braves lost two of those three games, and two of those games played over their totals.
Hendricks (14-11, 3.44 last year) finished 15/33 on quality starts last year, and six for his last eight. Chicago finished 18-15 with Hendricks last year, with the unders going 22-11.
Hendricks’ most recent outing against Atlanta came in that Cubs victory two seasons ago, when he held the Braves to one earned run through 6 2/3 innings.
It’s close, but we’re giving Chicago and Hendricks our handicapping check-mark for this pitching match-up.
Monday’s Batting Splits
The Cubs batted .260/.333/.398 against left-handed pitching last season. And they scored 28 runs in their series at Texas over the weekend. However, the ballpark might have had a little something to do with that.
The Braves batted .252/.320/.407 against right-handed pitching last season. But they managed just 11 runs in their series in Philly over the weekend.
We’re giving Chicago the edge with the sticks for Monday.
The Cubs bullpen posted a 3.35 ERA last year and a 1.30 WHIP. But it gave up 13 ER on 16 hits and eight walks over 11 2/3 innings of work over the weekend against the Rangers.
The Atlanta bullpen put up a 4.15 ERA last year with a 1.40 WHIP. This unit then gave up 13 ER, 10 hits and nine walks through 11 1/3 inning over the weekend against the Phillies.
We’ll give Chicago a short edge in the comparison of the bullpens.
The overs are 3-0 in Cubs games this season.
The overs are 2-1 in Braves games this season.
The unders finished 39-38-4 in games played at SunTrust Park last season.
The totals split 3-3 in Cubs-Braves games last season.
Free MLB Pick
Chicago gets the check-mark in each of our three main handicapping factors, so we’re betting the Cubs here. And we’ll chase a tempting price by giving the run and a half against the run line.