The marquee matchup in the majors on an abbreviated Monday schedule is a series opener from Wrigley Field as the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs face off. It could easily be a preview of one of the two National League Division Series this October with both leading their respective division. The Cubbies are favored on Monday’s MLB Lines.
Braves vs Cubs MLB Spread & Expert Pick
- When: Monday, 8:05 PM ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Julio Teheran/Jon Lester
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: WGN 720 AM
- MLB Spread: Chicago Cubs -125 (Total 11.5)
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Braves swept three at home vs. the Cubs very early in the season, winning each by at least two runs. Cubs were a lot worse team then, though. Atlanta has opened a 6.5-game lead over the sinking Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East Division.
The Braves took two of three in Washington, D.C., over the weekend – claiming the finale 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday. Johan Camargo delivered a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning as Atlanta won its fifth straight series. For the first time since June 12, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman failed to drive in a run. His streak of 10 straight games with an RBI matched the franchise record set by Sid Gordon in August 1951.
Luke Jackson picked up his 11th save of the season in Sunday’s win, allowing one run on two hits over an inning. Jackson had a 4-2 lead to work with when he came on to close out matters. He opened the frame walking Yan Gomes, then proceeded to allow a Kurt Suzuki single, with Gomes running to third on the hit. Trea Turner followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to pull the Nats to within 4-3. Adam Eaton would then pick up a one-out single to put Turner in scoring position before Jackson got the final two outs of the frame. Overall this season, Jackson is pitching to a 3.08 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 52/12 K/BB ratio in 38 innings. He is a not-great 11-of-17 in save chances and has surrendered runs in six of his last 10 appearances.
It’s Julio Teheran on the mound. Teheran (5-5) allowed six earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out three across four innings to take the loss last Tuesday against the Mets. Teheran got through the first two innings without allowing a run but allowed six baserunners and four earned runs in the third inning. The trouble continued in the fourth frame when he surrendered a two-run homer to Pete Alonso, though he was able to close out the inning.
Teheran hadn’t allowed multiple earned runs in any of his last eight starts entering Tuesday’s contest. He now has a 3.40 ERA and 1.26 WHIP across 87.1 innings. Since allowing three homers to the Padres back on April 30, he has allowed just one over his last nine starts (48 2/3 innings).
- Runs: 2.60
- Hits: 4.40
- Walks: 1.76
- Strike Outs: 4.04
- Runs: 2.30
- Hits: 4.09
- Walks: 1.79
- Strike Outs: 4.10
Why Bet on Chicago Cubs?
The Cubs enter play on Monday with a 42-35 record and a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Chicago is just 4-6 over its last 10 games but avoided a home sweep on Sunday with a 5-3 win over the New York Mets.
Javier Baez hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the eighth inning Sunday. Mets reliever Seth Lugo got into trouble in the eighth, putting a pair of runners on ahead of the dangerous Baez. The shortstop made the Mets pay, lashing a big-time homer to the opposite field to put the Cubs ahead. It was a good time for his 100th career homer, giving him 19 this season to go with 51 RBI, 50 runs scored and four steals. Baez is batting .284/.323/.551 in 76 games.
Pedro Strop struck out two Mets in a scoreless ninth inning Sunday, earning his ninth save of the season. He struck out Robinson Cano and Carlos Gomez before getting pinch-hitter Dominic Smith to line out. It was a nice rebound after he was tagged for two runs in his last outing. In 19 appearances this year, the 34-year-old has a 5.17 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 18/7 K/BB ratio. He’ll continue to close until Craig Kimbrel is ready. Kimbrel could be added to the Cubs’ roster as soon as Thursday or Friday.
It’s lefty Jon Lester on the mound. Lester (6-5) allowed three earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six across 5.2 innings to earn the win Wednesday against the White Sox. Lester got off to a shaky start, surrendering a solo home run to the first batter of the game. He also stumbled in the fourth inning, surrendering two more earned runs — including another solo homer. However, he was solid otherwise, racking up 21 called strikes and 11 swinging strikes on 114 total pitches.
Lester has allowed multiple homers in each of his last three starts, which has caused his ERA to balloon from 3.56 to 4.13. The veteran lefty has a 7.17 ERA in his last seven outings. Lester allowed six hits, two runs and struck out seven against the Braves back on April 3.
- Runs: 2.39
- Hits: 3.99
- Walks: 1.84
- Strike Outs: 4.26
- Runs: 2.02
- Hits: 3.91
- Walks: 1.67
- Strike Outs: 4.07
Braves vs Cubs MLB Betting Trends
- Braves are 4-0 in Teheran’s last 4 road starts vs. Cubs
- Cubs are 5-1 in Lester’s last 6 starts vs. Braves
- Over is 11-5-1 in the last 17 meetings in Chicago
- Braves are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Atlanta’s last 17 games when playing on the road against Cubs
- Cubs are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games played on a Monday
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Chi Cubs’ last 9 games against an opponent in the National League East division
Expert MLB Betting Prediction for Braves vs Cubs
Atlanta Braves 4 – Chicago Cubs 5