Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves odds, picks and predictions


The Chicago Cubs (82-76) and Atlanta Braves (102-56) meet Thursday in the finale of a 3-game series. First pitch at Truist Park is set for 7:20 p.m. ET (MLB Network) Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook’s lines around the Cubs vs. Braves odds and make our expert MLB picks and predictions for the best bets.

Season series: Braves lead 3-2

Chicago lost 6-5 in 10 innings Wednesday and 7-6 Tuesday in the series opener, despite leading both games midway through. Will those collapses be something Chicago fans have to live in an offseason that starts Monday? Or can the Cubs — now tied with the Miami Marlins for the 3rd-and-final NL Wild Card berth — bounce back and finish strong?

Atlanta has won 5 of its last 6 games. That’s a welcome turnaround for the ball club that still owns the best record in the league. The Braves had stumbled through much of September. They were just 7-10 across their 17 games immediately prior to their 5-1 run.

Cubs at Braves projected starters

RHP  vs. RHP A.J. Smith-Shawver

Stroman (10-8, 3.88 ERA) makes his 25th start and 27th appearance. He has notched a 1.25 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9 and 7.8 K/9 through 134 2/3 IP.

  • Last start: No-decision, 3 IP, 3 ER, 5H, 1 BB, 2 K in 6-3 home win vs. Colorado Rockies Saturday
  • 2023 Road stats: 4-2, 3.82 ERA in 61 1/3 IP across 11 starts and 2 relief appearances
  • Last 5 starts vs. Braves: 2-2, 3.09 ERA in 23 2/3 IP  (2019-22)
  • Activated Sept. 15 after a 6-week stay on the IL due to hip and rib-cage injuries. Made 2 relief appearances before his Saturday start.
  • Will likely be followed by RHP Javier Assad, who was effective in bulk relief Saturday. Assad owns a 3.07 ERA and 1.23 WHIP through 105 2/3 swingman innings (10 starts, 20 relief appearances)

Smith-Shawver (1-0, 4.57 ERA) makes his 5th start and 6th appearance. He has a 1.25 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.5 K/9 through 21 2/3 IP.

  • Making his 1st MLB start since July 30; recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he threw 16 2/3 innings in and around a shoulder injury
  • 2023 Home stats: 3.38 ERA in 16 IP across 3 starts
  • Has never faced the Cubs
  • Has benefited from a .179 batting average on balls in play (BABIP)
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