We have a huge Major League Baseball game on Tuesday. The Chicago Cubs are on the road at the Atlanta Braves. This is the first of a three-game series between these two teams.
The Chicago Cubs start Tuesday with a single-game lead in the National League Wildcard standings over the Miami Marlins. Chicago is 82-74 on the season. The Cubs are six games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the divisional standings, but the wildcard is their emphasis. With the Arizona loss on Monday, the Cubs are tied with Arizona.
The Atlanta Braves are coming off their 100th win of the season. The Dodgers are 3.5 games behind Atlanta for the top spot in the National League. Atlanta needs just four wins to guarantee the top seed.
The Atlanta Braves are -145 in this game over the Chicago Cubs.
Tuesday’s Pitching Matchup
Justin Steele will get the start for the Chicago Cubs. Steele has been the Cubs ace but has struggled as of late. His struggles include nine total innings, 15 hits, and 12 earned runs over his last two starts.
This will be the 30th start of the season for Steele. In 168 innings thrown, he has struck out 150 batters. The right-hander is 16-5, with a 3.00 on the season.
Bryce Elder gets the baseball for the Atlanta Braves. Elder is 12-4 on the season, with a 3.63 earned run average. The 24-year-old right-hander has 126 innings on the season and a WHIP of 1.24.
In his last start, he went just 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and four runs, while walking five against the Phillies. The Braves lost the game, but he picked up a no-decision.
Offensive Players to Watch
Of course, counting on Atlanta to play this season out and play their guys as they sit fit, the Atlanta Braves have plenty to look out for. The Braves are at the top in nearly every offensive category.
The Braves’ top threats include Ronald Acuna Jr/. Matt Olson and Austin Riley. Acuna is hitting .336 with 40 home runs. Olson leads the National League with 53 bombs, and Riley is hitting .282 and needs three home runs and four runs batted in from 40/100 on the season.
On the Chicago side, the Cubs would never be in the position they are without the services of Cody Bellinger. Bellinger leads the team with a .305 batting average while also clubbing 26 home runs and needs five RBIs to get to 100 on the season. Dansby Swanson is in his first season with the team as well.
The shortstop is hitting .250, but most importantly been able to play in 142 games. Seiya Suzuki just reached 20 home runs on the season. The Cubs are led in hitting by Nick Hoerner. His .285 batting average leads the team, but so does his 603 at bats in 2023.
The Cubs are coming off a sweep over the Rockies, where they scored 16 runs in the series.
Braves Win at Home; Keeping Chicago Nervous
Look for the struggles of Justin Steele to continue. A guy who came into September as a Cy Young candidate will finish the regular season poorly. Steele has had a frustrating September.
The Atlanta Braves offense is not one you want to face if you are having difficulty getting people out, especially keeping the ball in the ballpark: too much Atlanta offense and good outing from Elder.
Bet the Atlanta Braves -145 over the Chicago Cubs in this pivotal game on Tuesday.
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