MLB Pick: Cubs vs. Braves

by | Apr 3, 2019 | mlb

Time: 7:20 pm ET
Where: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, GA
Listed Pitchers: Julio Teheran (Atl) vs. Jon Lester (Chic)
TV: ESPN, FS-South, WGN
Moneyline: Braves -110/Cubs +100
Over/Under: 8.5

Atlanta picked up its first win of this new season Monday and shoots for its first series victory when it hosts the Cubs for the middle game of this three-game series Wednesday night. This game is a near toss-up on the MLB betting line, as was Monday’s. Who do we like for our free MLB pick in this spot?

MLB Betting Odds

Wednesday’s MLB betting odds opened Chicago and Jon Lester at around -110 over Atlanta and Julio Teheran, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. Early betting action then flipped the Braves into -105 favorites, and bumped the total to nine.

The Cubs could also be found getting around +155 giving the run and a half on the MLB betting run line.

Cubs vs. Braves Set-Up

Atlanta took the opener of this series Monday night 8-0, cashing in as -110 favorites on the MLB betting line. The Braves scored four unearned run in the top of the first inning in their season home opener and breezed from there behind four iffy but scoreless innings from starter Sean Newcomb and five scoreless innings from the bullpen.

Atlanta rapped out 12 hits Monday and drew seven walks. Chicago, meanwhile, committed six errors.

Also, Monday’s game pushed its total of eight runs.

Monday’s victory was Atlanta’s first of this season, after opening with three straight losses.

Chicago, meanwhile, now owns a three-game losing streak, after winning its season opener.

These two teams split six meetings last season.

Wednesday’s Starting Arms

Righty Teheran (0-1, 5.40) opened this season with a decent effort, allowing three runs and four hits through five innings of a 10-4 Atlanta loss at Philadelphia last Thursday. He needed 88 pitches to get 15 outs.

Last year, by our tough standards, Teheran finished 16/31 on quality starts. The Braves went 18-13 with Teheran, with the unders also going 18-13.

In his only start last season against the Cubs Teheran allowed four runs and four hits, including a couple of homers, through six innings of a 6-5 Atlanta victory.

Lefty Lester (1-0, 3.00) opened this season with a winning effort, holding Texas to two runs and four hits through six innings of a 12-4 Chicago victory last Thursday. He needed 98 pitches to get 18 outs.

Last year Lester finished 14/32 on quality starts. The Cubs went a solid 24-8 with Lester, with the overs going 18-13.

Lester missed Atlanta last year. In two starts against the Braves in 2017 Lester allowed five runs and 11 hits through 12 innings of a pair of Cubs victories.

For our handicapping purposes here we’re calling this pitching match-up even.

Wednesday’s Batting Splits

Chicago is batting a lofty .370/.433/.609 against right-handed pitching so far this season. The Cubs scored 28 runs in their season-opening three-game series against the Rangers, before coming up empty Monday.

Atlanta has only 11 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. Last season the Braves hit .269/.336/.444 against lefties. Atlanta only scored 11 runs total in its season-opening series against the Phillies, before popping off for eight Monday.

We’re giving Chicago the edge with the sticks for Wednesday.

The Bullpens

The Chicago bullpen has allowed 13 earned runs on 18 hits and 12 walks through 15 1/3 innings of work so far this season.

The Braves bullpen has allowed 13 ER on 13 hits and nine walks through 16 1/3 innings this season.

Neither of these bullpens looks very bankable at the moment, so we’ll call this department a push, too,

Totals Report

The overs are 3-1 in Cubs games this season.

The totals are split 2-2 in Braves games this season.

The totals split 3-3 in Cubs-Braves games last season.

The unders finished 39-38-4 in games played at SunTrust Park last season.

Free MLB Pick

Chicago gets the edge in one of our main handicapping factors, and we had a nice run of betting success with Lester last year. And hopefully the Cubs won’t commit six errors again. We’re going with Chicago for our free MLB pick for Wednesday.

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