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Braves vs Cubs Predictions, Odds & Starting Pitchers (May 23)

Ethan Stone

by Ethan Stone in MLB Baseball

Updated May 23, 2024 · 6:01 AM PDT

May 21, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger (24) scores against the Atlanta Braves during the 10th inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta faces off against the Chicago Cubs in the third of a three-game series Thursday night at 2:20 ET at Wrigley Field
  • The 2nd place team in the NL East faces off against the 2nd place team in the NL Central
  • See the Atlanta Braves vs Chicago Cubs odds, predictions, and starting pitchers on May 23

The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves face off in the final of a three-game series Thursday night at 2:20 p.m. ET. The Cubs took Game 1 in exciting fashion with a 4-3 win in extra innings, but the Braves punched right back in Game 2 with an 9-2 win.

Chicago is an incredible 16-6 this season following a loss while Atlanta is 15-12 following a win. The Braves have lost 2 of their last 3 road series and Chicago has lost 2 of their last 3 home series. Something’s gotta give, folks.

Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves Prediction

The Braves took Game 2 in dominant fashion Wednesday night, with Max Fried pitching a complete game in a 9-2 victory. Fried’s herculean effort evens the playing field entering the deciding game Thursday afternoon, giving the Braves more options in the bullpen.

Atlanta has just been the more dominant team this series, and they’re the slight betting favorite on most sites, including Fanatics.

CHI vs. ATL Pick: Braves +1.5 (-260)

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Cubs vs Braves Odds (May 23)

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Atlanta Braves -125 +1.5 (-260) O 9 (-105)
Chicago Cubs +105 -1.5 (+190) U 9 (-115)

Odds via Fanatics Sportsbook May 22. Check out our Fanatics promo code for more details.

As stated above, the Braves are given slight odds on the moneyline to win Thursday’s deciding game at -125. The runline indicates that the Cubs are the favorite but the money is again leaning towards the Braves (-260).

The O/U is set at 9, which would have made Game 1 under and Game 2 over. Interestingly, the Braves are 27-7 at hitting the under following a win this season. Atlanta is also 16-28-2 against the Over this season in general.

And in case you’re still not convinced the under may be the play for Thursday’s matchup, the Cubs are 6-14 against the over following a loss.

Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves Pitching Matchup

Ben Brown
AJ Smith-Shawver
1-1 Record 0-0
3.57 ERA 6.10 (Minors)
35.1 IP N/A
1.25 WHIP N/A
26.7% SO% N/A

The Braves decided to take an interesting path after Max Fried’s incredible effort on Wednesday night. Instead of starting Darius Vines, Atlanta will call up AJ Smith-Shawver for his season debut.

Smith-Shawver has really struggled with the Gwinnett Stripers this season, posting a 6.10 ERA through 8 starts. He saw brief action last season and performed well in his last outing which, funnily enough, came against the Cubs. In that game Smith-Shawver pitched 3.2 no-hit inning while allowing 1 run on a walk while striking out 2 on 64 pitches. Obviously, don’t expect him to get much run Thursday afternoon.

Brown has been solid this season for the Cubs and he’s played more of a bullpen role for Chicago as of late. He earned his first win of the season on May 10 against Pittsburgh, striking out 6 in 3.2 innings while allowing just a pair of hits.

Because Brown has been coming out of the bullpen as of late don’t expect more than 3 or 4 innings out of him Thursday afternoon.

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