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Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves reacts after he was picked off at first base against the New York Mets, and we offer our top Braves vs. Cubs player props based on the best MLB odds.
Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves reacts after he was picked off at first base against the New York Mets. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images via AFP.

Tuesday brings a battle between two teams that sit second in their respective divisions, and we're offering our top Braves vs. Cubs player props based on the best MLB odds.

The Atlanta Braves remain among the World Series odds favorites, but the 2024 season hasn't started as they hoped. Other than Marcell Ozuna and catcher Travis d'Arnaud — who's playing almost every day due to Sean Murphy's oblique injury on Opening Day — the team's offense has been notably lackluster.

Similarly, the Chicago Cubs have endured a somewhat disappointing start. While their 26-22 record would be an improvement over their 2023 performance if sustained throughout the season, they currently sit second in the NL Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers. Interestingly, Cubs manager Craig Counsell left the Brewers during the offseason.

The Cubs had a day off on Monday and now benefit from playing at home, whereas the Braves played a doubleheader yesterday. Will fatigue be a factor when the first pitch is thrown at Wrigley Field at 7:40 p.m. ET?

Here are our best Braves vs. Cubs player props and MLB picks (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Braves vs. Cubs player props

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Braves vs. Cubs expert picks

Javier Assad Over 4.5 strikeouts ⭐⭐⭐

We provided this pick in our top MLB player props and expert picks for Tuesday, so let's run it back here.

Cubs right-hander Javier Assad is by no means an ace, but he's been enjoying a very solid season thus far and should put together another strong performance against a struggling Braves lineup.

Here are some of the Braves' offensive numbers from 2023 compared to 2024:

  • 2023: 125 wRC+, 20.6% strikeout rate, .276/.344/.501 team slash line
  • 2024: 109 wRC+, 23.32% strikeout rate, .254/.324/.411 team slash line

Fortunately for Atlanta, the pitching staff has held up its end and is a significant reason why the club is 27-17 in 2024. But that won't help its hitters avoid the dreaded walk of shame back to the dugout on Tuesday.

Assad is expected to put up a nice night on the mound at home against Atlanta, with a 5.11 average strikeout projection from two of our trusted models. We're getting roughly 29.5% +EV on this bet based on that projection.

These odds through FanDuel are significantly better than any of the prices at our other best sports betting apps. Additionally, Pinnacle - which features one of the most respected trading teams in the sports betting industry - is pricing Assad's strikeout Over at +106.

Best odds: +128 via FanDuel

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Ronald Acuna Jr. Under 1.5 total bases ⭐⭐⭐

Ronald Acuna Jr. doesn't even remotely resemble the player who went 40-70 in 2023 en route to capturing NL MVP honors.

He's accrued just 1.1 fWar through 43 games. Acuna would be worth just better than four wins above replacement level in 2024 if we extrapolate that production over the entire campaign. That's still solid, but it doesn't compare to the 9.0 fWAR he accrued in 2023.

Additionally, his batted-ball data is significantly worse. He owns a .268 xBA (.357 in 2023), .420 xSLG (.660 last year), and a .351 xwOBA (.460 last year), and Acuna is striking out in a whopping 24.2% of his plate appearances after doing so in 11.4 during 2023.

What we're seeing now might be closer to the real Acuna than the 2023 version. The 2023 campaign is the outlier if you look at his Statcast page, not this one.

Acuna is expected to put together another slow day at the plate on Tuesday, as we're getting nearly 17% +EV on this Under based on his projections.

Best odds: -109 via BetRivers

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Dansby Swanson Under 1.5 total bases ⭐⭐⭐

Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson continues to be one of the weak links in a lineup that could desperately use his production.

Two of Chicago's best hitters in 2024 have been Mike Tauchman - a career platoon outfielder - and rookie Michael Busch. Cody Bellinger and Nico Hoerner have regressed compared to 2023, but Swanson is the one really hurting the Cubs with his 81 wRC+.

As is the case with Acuna, Swanson is projected to produce another poor showing at the plate on Tuesday. He squares off against Braves right-hander Charlie Morton, who's one of the reasons Atlanta owns its solid record.

Based on Swanson's projections, we're getting roughly 16% +EV on this bet despite the very short -165 odds. That's all we need to know about what's expected from him at the dish on Tuesday.

Best odds: -165 via bet365

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Braves vs. Cubs game info & odds

  • When: Tuesday, May 21
  • First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
  • Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill.
  • How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, Marquee Sports Network
  • Favorite: Braves (-125 via Betway)

Braves vs. Cubs player props made Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET.

Here are our best MLB betting sites:

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