MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Braves vs. Cubs

MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Braves vs. Cubs article feature image

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeimer Candelario, Nick Madrigal & Christopher Morel (Cubs)

Braves vs. Cubs Odds

Saturday, August 5
2:20 p.m. ET
Braves Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -105
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -105
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Chicago will look to shake off an 8-0 thumping in a matchup between Javier Assad and Bryce Elder.

Elder has pitched to an ERA of 3.18 across 121 2/3 innings in 2023 and is a -160 favorite against Assad.

Assad has been sharp across 50 innings of work with a 3.24 ERA, but he'll likely throw five or less innings leading into a combination of strong middle relievers for the Cubs.

Atlanta Braves

Elder finally suffered through some regression in the month of July, as he struggled to a 5.96 ERA across 25 2/3 innings.

His K% has trended downwards over the last six outings and now sits in the 15th-lowest percentile at 16%. Elder's Stuff+ rating comes in at just 76, while his Location+ mark is 100. Batters have hard-hit 40.9% of balls this season, but in spite of that, Elder is sporting an ERA of just 3.18.

As with many extreme ground-ball pitchers, he may not be as middling as some of those statistics suggest. Opponents own a ground-ball rate of 55% versus Elder, which is the fifth-highest mark in the league among qualified starters this season.

Elder will lead into a Braves bullpen that's allowed a 4.28 ERA with a 3.83 xFIP over the last 30 days.

The Braves have hit to a wRC+ of 122 over the last 30 days, with a K/BB ratio of 0.40. They have hard-hit 41.1% of balls during that time, which is the top mark in the league.

Chicago Cubs

Assad will start Saturday, as he looks to build on what's been a great stretch of play. He'll possibly be offered a chance to eat a few more innings than usual.

Assad has dominated to an ERA of 0.42 over his last 21 2/3 innings. He's allowed a WHIP of just 0.87 in those nine appearances.

Assad owns a Stuff+ rating of 94 and a Location+ of 98. Over Assad's last eight appearances, his K-rate has risen, while his xFIP has trended downwards.

Assad will likely lead into a combination of Hayden Wesneski, Michael Fulmer and Jose Cuas. Wesneski owns an xFIP of 4.36, Fulmer owns a 4.25 xFIP and Cuas owns a 4.30 xFIP.

Even after Friday's shutout, the Cubs still pace the league by a decent margin in terms of run production. In 841 plate appearances since July 14, they've hit to a wRC+ of 142. That's come with some good luck — including a .344 BABIP — but their process has been sound, too.

They own a fourth-best BB/K ratio at 0.44 and have made soft contact just 13.8% of the time.

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Braves vs. Cubs Betting Pick

Chicago's scorching hot offense is not being given much credit here in a pitching matchup that's even, based on many metrics.

Assad should be able to give four or more solid innings at this point and lead into some combination of Wesneski, Cuas and Fulmer.

Elder is the kind of starter you want to fade considering the Cubs' price of +130 in this matchup. There's a decent possibility the Cubs' strong approach right now gets to him early, and this is certainly a long enough number to take a shot with the underdog Cubs at home.

Anything better than +125 on Cubs moneyline is a play for me.

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