July 18 Odds: Cubs to Beat Braves for 5th Straight Victory

ben zobrist cubs

Willie Bee

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 12:48 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 18, 2017 12:48 PM GMT

After struggling in the first half, the Chicago Cubs appear to have things together now and are favored on the MLB odds Tuesday when they continue their series in Atlanta.

MLB Season Record: 47-50-1 (-1.65)

Are the Chicago Cubs finally getting things together? It certainly looks that way after they won their 4th straight Monday, and their first trip to the new park in Atlanta continues this evening (7:35 PM ET). John Lackey (5-9, 5.20) is on the hill for Chicago opposite Sean Newcomb (1-4, 4.26) of the Braves, and tight MLB odds have the Cubs around -110.

It was touch-&-go at the end Monday as the visitors held off a late Atlanta charge for a 4-3 triumph in a matchup BetOnline closed Chicago at -168. The final fell short of the total, leaving nine of the last 11 the two teams have played in Atlanta short of the numbers. SunTrust Park started its life putting money in the pockets of ‘over’ bettors, but has slowly come around to the ‘under’ to sit 21-23-2 O/U/P on the season.

 

Newcomb Tagged By Astros & Nats Before Break

It has been a struggle for the 38-year-old Lackey this year, though there were signs in his start just prior to the All-Star break that he’ll improve. For one thing, he didn’t allow a homer in 10 innings after being taken deep 10 times over his previous five starts (28.1 IP). Dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, plus having four days off, the club decided to put him on the DL and bring him off tonight. This is just his second start against Atlanta since joining the Cubs, Nick Markakis (23-for-70, .329) and Brandon Phillips (9-for-39, .231) having the most experience against Lackey among Braves hitters.

Newcomb took on the top two offenses in baseball his last two starts, Houston and Washington, and they overmatched him after the rookie began his career with four quality efforts in June. He now goes against a Cubs lineup that is coming to life and has won 15 of 21 starts this year against southpaws. The 24-year-old is still looking for his first win in front of the Atlanta faithful, the Braves going 1-3 in his home starts so far.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Manny Gonzalez is up next in the rotation to call balls and strikes, and he has posted one of the most extreme totals record at 12-2-2 O/U/P. He worked a Nats-Braves contest in Atlanta earlier in the year that went past the mark, part of a 6-1 O/U start to the 2017 campaign. Home ‘dogs have not fared well, however, cashing just twice in seven occasions.

The start of Monday’s tilt was delayed by rain, but everything looks fine this evening with temps in the low 80s at first pitch. I believe in Chicago’s resurgence enough to play the run line for my free baseball pick.

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -1½ (+150)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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