MLB Picks: Cubs vs. Braves Odds Overview

Jeff Grant

Friday, April 5, 2013 11:59 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 11:59 AM GMT

The Chicago Cubs scored just six combined runs in their opening three-game series in Pittsburgh, but their offense could warm up with the weather in taking on the Atlanta Braves Friday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this National League matchup at Turner Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Opening number

Chicago came away with its first series win to start a season in four years, as it took two of three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, including a 3-2 victory Thursday afternoon, while going UNDER the total in each of those contests.

The Cubs are 22-30 in April the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 27-24-1 in that particular situation.

Shut down

After scoring 16 runs in their first two games against the Philadelphia, the Atlanta Braves were handed a 2-0 shutout loss Thursday night, as they managed to collect just two hits.

The Braves are still 97-69 at home since the start of the 2011 campaign, with the UNDER going 85-72-9 in those opportunities.

Hard to back

MLB handicappers are going to have a hard time jumping on the Cubs bandwagon in this particular spot, considering they’ve gone 17-51 (-2,176) as road underdogs of +150 or more the last two-plus seasons.

Chicago also suffered a 3-0 setback in its first matchup with a southpaw starter during the 2013 campaign, while the club is 19-39 on the road when facing a left-hander in its last 58 games in that situation.

Minor problems before the break

Mike Minor is 4-0 with a 4.30 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs, which would make it very easy to back him at any price when looking over the SBR Odds page, but I’m not exactly going to run to the betting window.

The left-hander has a 5.60 ERA in his career before the All-Star break, which is far different than his 3.50 mark afterwards.  Minor has compiled a 2-3 record and 5.35 ERA in six April starts in his brief career.

[gameodds]3/223928/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their MLB picks Friday night, as the Cubs should perform better offensively in the warmer weather of Atlanta, with game-time temperatures expected in the mid-50s.

Chicago starting pitcher Scott Feldman posted an alarming 0-3 record and 11.25 ERA during the spring, which isn’t going to do him any favors against one of the NL’s best lineups. 

MLB Pick:  Over 7.5 (-108) at Pinnacle

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