Jake Arrieta (14-6, 2.39 ERA) is on the hill for the Chicago Cubs (67-51) as they square off against Mike Foltynewicz (4-4, 5.61 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (53-67) in the first of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. Action begins at 8:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 20 and can be seen on CSCh and SPSO.
Arrieta pitched 6.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs (one unearned), striking out five and walking two in a 6-3 win over the White Sox. Kris Bryant (.259, 63 Rs, 17 HRs, 68 RBIs, 12 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 4 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs. Foltynewicz went 4.2 innings, surrendering six runs, striking out five and walking one in an 8-4 defeat to the Diamondbacks in his most recent start. Freddie Freeman (.285, 46 Rs, 14 HRs, 45 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday.
This one isn't expected to be close when Chicago, a substantial -264 favorite, takes on Atlanta. The Cubs have recorded an overall money line of +744 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 47-29. Chicago is an impressive 7-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Cubs have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.6 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.0 runs per game. Chicago is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.5 per game. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cubs, who have a team ERA of only 3.38. The Cubs are the fourth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.20 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Atlanta has a 40-57 record and an overall money line of -394. The Braves have a dynamic offense, ranking second in the league with 285 extra base hits.
The Cubs lead the season series, 2-1. The Cubs have a 52-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Foltynewicz takes the mound. Arrieta (RHP) will be on the hill against the Braves, who have a 45-54 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
In their last game, the Braves lost by a margin of one run. The Cubs are 27-17 in one-run games. The Braves have a 23-17 record in close games.
The Cubs are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 11 strikeouts. The Braves have a record of 3-7 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they are outhit, the Braves are 10-47. The Cubs have a 15-38 record when opponents outhit them.
Atlanta ranks at the bottom of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting 74 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half at 14th with 116.
Ranking 14th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.09 per game. Atlanta ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 8.53.
Ranking 29th, Atlanta is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.677). Chicago ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .706.
The Braves are 20-47 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 32-34 when they allow at least one homer.