On Monday night, the Chicago Cubs will travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves in the 1st game of a 3-game series. The Cubs are 1-2 on the season, and the Braves have started the season with an 0-3 record with this being their home opener.
The Cubs are coming off an 11-10 loss to the Rangers on Sunday. The Cubs had a 4-0 lead and an 8-5 lead in this game but were not able to hold on. The Rangers scored the winning run in the 9th when Joey Gallo led off the inning with a double. He advanced to 3rd on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch. Cole Hamels went 5 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits to go with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Shwarber each hit solo home runs in this one. Rizzo and Ben Zobrist led the team with 2 RBI’s a piece. Every player in the starting lineup registered a hit for the Cubs, and all but 1 started got an RBI.
The Braves are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Phillies on Sunday Night Baseball which capped off a 3-game sweep for Philadelphia. The Braves are the last winless team in the majors and will look to change that when they play their 1st game in front of their home crowd. Kyle Wright got the loss in his first career start and went 4.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks to go with 3 strikeouts. Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr, and Ozzie Albies each recorded 1 hit in this one, and they scored their only run on a passed ball.
Hendricks Gets the Start
Kyle Hendricks will get the start in this one for the Cubs. Last year Hendricks went 14-11 with a 3.44 ERA in 199 innings. He recorded 161 strikeouts and had a WHIP of 1.15. A few Cubs have had success against Newcomb in their careers. Javier Baez has gone 4 for 9, and Kris Bryant has gone 4 for 8 off Newcomb. Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, and Ben Zobrist have combined to go just 3 for 15 against Newcomb.
Sean Newcomb will get the start for the Braves. Last year Newcomb went 12-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 164 innings, tallying 160 strikeouts with a 1.33 WHIP. Nick Markakis is the only Brave with success against Hendricks, going 5 for 11. Freddie Freeman has gone 1 for 5, and Ender Inciarte has gone 1 for 6. Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson have each gone 0 for 2 versus Hendricks and Ronald Acuna Jr has yet to face Hendricks in his career.
Take the Cubs
The Cubs come in as -115 favorites. Both teams struggled in their opening series of the season. The Braves struggled offensively while the Cubs struggled on the other side of the ball while scoring quite a few runs. Hendricks has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the big leagues while Newcomb has been average in his short time in the show. I think the Cubs’ right-handers will have success against the lefty Newcomb and will hit him pretty hard while Hendricks will have success against the Braves lineup that struggled in Philadelphia. I see the Cubs scoring early and often and winning this one 6-2. Take the Cubs -115.
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