Before placing your MLB pick today, ask yourself, can the Atlanta Braves put an end to a six game road losing streak today, or will Chicago continue their momentum of 15-4?
Braves and Cubs in Friday Afternoon Tilt
The Braves and Cubs will tangle in a matinee affair on Friday. The first pitch at Wrigley Field in Chicago is slated for 4:05 PM ET. This will be the second of a four game series between these clubs. The Cubs took the series opener 7-1 behind the red-hot pitching of Jake Arrieta. Chicago is 3-1 versus Atlanta in 2015, and three of those four games stayed under the total.
Braves Road Woes Continue
By virtue of Thursday loss at Wrigley, Atlanta has now dropped six consecutive games on the road, and is a horrible 2-19 in their last twenty-one away. Atlanta has gone a solid 32-24 (.571) at home this season, but are an awful 21-44 (.323) on the road. A lack of offensive production has been a key contributor to their struggles on the road, and that’s in addition to some poor pitching from an erratic bullpen. The Braves have averaged just 2.3 runs per game during their current twenty-one game futile road stretch. Atlanta relievers have posted a collective 5.13 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and blown 42.9% of their save opportunities on the road in 2015.
No Run Support for Shelby Miller
Taking the mound on Friday, Shelby Miller has gone 1-10 in his last eleven team starts despite allowing 2 earned runs or less in eight of those outings. Miller has been victimized by a lack of run support to say the least, and that’s evidenced by Atlanta averaging a pathetic 1.4 runs per game in those previous eleven starts. A less than encouraging sign heading into Friday’s contest pertains to the Braves averaging a paltry 1.8 runs per game during its last five overall.
Cubs Back in the Saddle
The Cubs ended a three game losing streak on Thursday, and are now 15-4 during their last nineteen. Their bats which seemed dormant during much of the first half of the season have certainly come alive of late. The Cubs have scored 5 runs or more in twelve of their previous fifteen games. During their last seven games, Chicago has compiled an off the charts good .913 OPS. Friday’s Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks has gone a perfect 9-0 in his team starts in August since 2014. Hendricks was very good in his lone start versus Atlanta this year. During that outing, he allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits while walking just 1 in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
These two clubs are quite obviously headed in polar opposite directions. One team (Cubs) is knocking the cover of the ball recently, and the other (Braves) can’t hit their way out of a paper bag in road games. If it wasn’t for Shelby Miller being on the mound for Atlanta, I would make this a fairly substantial wager instead of a conservative one. The only value I see for this game regarding one of my MLB picks today is a run-line wager. According to the current MLB betting odds at Pinnacle, they provide us the best value.
MLB Picks: Play the Cubs -1.5 (+111) on the run-line