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Atlanta and Chicago Clash In Series-Deciding Matchup on Sunday

Ronald Acuna's Braves are slight underdogs in the Atlanta vs Chicago odds.

The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are each 3-3 in the last six meetings, including a 5-2 Atlanta win on Friday and a 13-4 Chicago win on Saturday. The Braves and Cubs will finish up their series with a rubber match this Sunday night in Chicago.

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs
  • Date/Time: April 18, 7:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Wrigley Field
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: -115 Chicago | O/U 8.5 runs (Line History)
  • Braves vs. Cubs (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

After flexing its offensive muscles on Saturday with a 13-4 drubbing of Atlanta, Chicago heads into the rubber match as a slight -115 favorite. With an UNDER in the first game and an OVER in the second, oddsmakers have listed the total at 8.5 for this series-deciding contest.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Bryse Wilson will be making his first appearance of the year on Sunday after compiling a 4.02 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP in 15.2 innings pitched last season. The 23-year-old’s most recent start came in the postseason last year when he pitched six innings and allowed only one run in a 10-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kyle Hendricks is set to return to the mound in this matchup after missing his last scheduled start with a non-COVID-related illness. The right-hander allowed only four hits and one walk with no runs in his last appearance against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 7 and carries a 3.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP into this contest. Hendricks finished 2020 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP across 12 starts.

Atlanta News & Notes

It has been a streaky season for the Braves so far in 2021 with a four-game losing streak out of the gate, a four-game winning streak to follow that and then another four-game losing streak to fall to 4-8. Atlanta appeared to be trending up again with back-to-back wins over the Miami Marlins and the Cubs, but that win streak was snapped with a 13-4 blowout loss on Saturday.

Ronald Acuna Jr. is off to a sensational start with a .433 batting average, 20 runs, seven home runs and 16 RBI. But with the rest of the team batting a combined .195, the Braves just aren’t getting the job done at the plate on a consistent enough basis.

Chicago News & Notes

Kris Bryant went 3-for-4 with two home runs, three runs and four RBI in Chicago’s 13-run showing on Saturday. The Cubs hit six home runs in total in the game with Willson Contreras hitting two as well and Javier Baez and David Bote adding one each.

Before the team’s offensive outburst on Saturday, Chicago was 2-7 over its previous nine games with an average of only 1.89 runs per game over that stretch. The Cubs rank 28th in the major leagues in run production with 3.36 runs per game and 19th in team ERA with a 4.39. Chicago will need to improve in both of these categories to turn its 6-8 start around.

Betting Pick: UNDER 8.5

Both of these lineups are loaded with offensive talent, but neither of these teams has been producing at the plate with any consistency. After putting up 17 runs on Saturday, look for a much quieter day on offense in this one to send the game UNDER its posted total.

Shark Bites
  • Atlanta is 2-5 in its last 7 games.
  • Chicago is 4-6 in its last 10 home games vs. Atlanta.
  • The UNDER is 10-4 in Atlanta’s last 14 road games.