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Braves vs. Cubs: Picks, predictions, how to watch Saturday’s game

We go over how to watch Saturday’s game between the Braves and Cubs and make some picks.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs square off on Saturday with first pitch set for 2:20 p.m. The game takes place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL and will only be available on local TV or through an MLB.tv subscription. Seven-game winner Kyle Wright is scheduled to take the mound for the Braves. The Cubs will send out left-hander Justin Steele.

A couple of streaks were broken in Friday’s game as the Braves (37-28) lost 1-0. The defeat snapped their 14-game win streak while also ending the Cubs’ losing skid at 10. Entering that day game at Wrigley, Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley had both been red-hot at the plate, but they went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts versus a quartet of Cubs pitchers. Wright carries a 2.57 ERA and an impressive .195 opponents’ batting average. He has posted a quality start — at least six innings and no more than three earned runs — in five of his past six outings.

Even with Friday’s win, the Cubs (24-40) are averaging less than three runs per game in their past 11. Three scoreless innings from a much-maligned bullpen was critical. The Cubs’ ‘pen had a 9.48 ERA during the skid. Exciting rookie Christopher Morel’s 18-game on-base streak at home also concluded Friday. Prior to his 0-for-3 effort, Morel produced a .304/.372/.565 slash line through his first 18 games at Wrigley Field. Steele, after recording a 5.32 ERA across five starts in May, has given up only one earned in each of his two starts this month. He lasted seven innings in both.

Braves vs. Cubs

Pitchers: Kyle Wright vs. Justin Steele
First pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET
Braves local broadcast: Bally Sports Southeast
Cubs local broadcast: Marquee Sports Network
Live stream: MLB.tv (subscription)

Odds, picks & predictions

Run line: Braves -1.5 (-110)
Run total: 7
Moneyline odds: Braves -195, Cubs +165

Moneyline pick: Braves -195

Expect the Braves to bounce back after Friday’s shutout. Despite that no-show, they have still been the National League’s best offense since the start of June — .892 OPS with an MLB-best .544 slugging percentage. With the wind looking like it will be blowing out at Wrigley, this might turn into a high-scoring game, which favors Atlanta against a Cubs team that has very few potent bats.

Player prop pick: Austin Riley over 1.5 total bases (+120)

It’s tempting to try a Riley home run prop with the wind expected to blow out to left field this afternoon. But considering Steele’s skills at keeping the ball in the park, we’ll turn to total bases instead. Riley has recorded 15 extra-base hits and a 1.022 OPS in 24 games since May 23.

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