The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are set to face off Wednesday in what should be a fun matchup between two exciting teams. Currently, the Cubs are projected to win at -1.5 according to most sportsbooks.
With this being a home game in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, this favors Chicago. They have a 28-14 record at home and are 24-18 ATS. Overall, they are 41-37 ATS and 24-18 ATS at home.
Atlanta has not fared well as the underdog. They hold a 7-13 mark and have a 19-19 record away. Overall, they have a 22-16 record on the road, so that bodes well for them heading into this matchup.
Keuchel seeks his first win
In what has been an abbreviated season of sorts for the pitcher, he had a rough start in his last time out against Washington. In five innings of work, he gave up eight hits and four runs, three of which were earned.
One of his hits surrendered was a home run. He struck out three on the evening on 99 pitches. He certainly looks to have a better outing this time around.
The only Cubs player that has familiarity with him is first baseman Anthony Rizzo. In five at-bats, he has two hits and a run batted in. That equates to a .400 batting average. Keuchel will certainly have to be careful with Rizzo, who is having a tremendous season.
Darvish looks to dazzle
Yu Darvish is set to take the mound for the Cubs. He is having a down year by his standards. Posting a 2-3 record with a 4.75 ERA to this point, 97 strikeouts has been one of the only redeeming things about this season.
He suffered a no-decision his last time out against the New York Mets. In what was a 5-4 loss for the Cubs, he pitched six innings, giving up four hits and four runs, all of them earned. Two of them came via the long ball. If there was any positive to his start, it was that he struck out six batters on 88 pitches.
One batter he should be careful with for Atlanta is Nick Markakis. In six at-bats, he has three hits and a walk. That equates to a .500 batting average. Josh Donaldson has also seen him decently well. In 20 at-bats, he has four hits and two runs batted in. He has also struck out nine times against Darvish so take that for what you will.
Darvish should have a bit of success against this lineup as they have totaled 31 strikeouts against him throughout their respective careers.
Tale of the tape
The Braves are 6-4 in their last 10 ballgames, while Chicago is 5-5. Both of these teams could use a win on Wednesday.
Given the strength of both lineups, this one is not easy to predict. I would go with the Cubs in this game, but for this one, I would suggest going with your gut. This is a very tight game that features balance on both sides.