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MLB: Cubs at Braves

Atlanta Braves

Braves And Cubs Coming Off Bad Starts to Season

The Chicago Cubs won their season opener, and that is about all you can say. They then saw their pitching implode in back-to-back losses. The Cubbies head into Monday’s contest against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. The Braves have their own issues with their bullpen. They got swept out of Philadelphia with an 0-3 record.

The Cubs are needing better work on the mound. The Cubs squandered leads of 4-0 and 8-5 in Sunday’s 11-10 setback at Texas. The winning run scored on Pedro Strop’s wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning. It capped a two-day stretch in which Chicago pitchers gave up 19 runs on 22 hits and 18 walks. Chicago pounded out 17 hits in Sunday’s loss. Daniel Descalso finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and has recorded 28 runs and 39 hits through three games. The Cubs are in the midst of a season-opening nine-game road trip. They lead the National League, and rank second in the majors, in road victories since the start of the 2015 campaign with 183.

The Braves are the only team in baseball yet to get a win. Their pitching also struggled in its season-opening series with Philadelphia. They gave up 23 runs, 20 walks and eight homers. Freddie Freeman collected six hits in the opening set and owns a 1.492 OPS. Atlanta’s offense generated just 11 runs. The Braves did not lose three in a row last season until games 31-33. That was a three-game sweep by San Francisco in early May.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Chicago Plus, FS Southeast (Atlanta); LINE: Braves -110; O/U: 8 -110.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (2018: 14-11, 3.44 ERA) vs. Braves LH Sean Newcomb (2018: 12-9, 3.90).

This, That, and a Dart Throw

The Cubs rewarded Hendricks with a four-year contract extension after a stellar 2018 season. He led the team with career highs of 33 starts and 199 innings pitched last season. Hendricks struggled some in spring training. He gave up 22 hits over 16 1/3 innings, over five starts. Hendricks is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against the Braves. He did not face them last year.

Newcomb’s first full major-league season showed plenty of promise for the young Atlanta Brave. He also continued to struggle with his control as he went 8-5 with a 3.51 ERA in the first half of the season. On the ass-end, he was 4-4 with a 4.58 mark. He posted a 5.14 ERA across six spring-training outings. Newcomb also walked more hitters, with 15, than he struck out, 14. Newcomb is 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA in three career games against the Cubs. CF Ender Inciarte and 3B Josh Donaldson, the top two hitters in the lineup, have gone a combined 2-for-22 to start the season.

Prediction: Braves 5, Cubs 2.

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MLB Betting Odds & Trends

Chicago Cubs
Chi Cubs is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Chi Cubs is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chi Cubs’s last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Chi Cubs’s last 8 games on the road
Chi Cubs is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Atlanta
Chi Cubs is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing Atlanta
Chi Cubs is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Chi Cubs’s last 16 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games
Atlanta is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games
Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games at home
Atlanta is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Atlanta’s last 10 games at home
Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Chi Cubs
Atlanta is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games when playing Chi Cubs
Atlanta is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Chi Cubs
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Atlanta’s last 16 games when playing at home against Chi Cubs

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