Cubs vs Braves Series Preview (April 16-18): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitchers, Insights
The Cubs hitting malaise showed no sign of lifting in a third consecutive series loss that ended in a shutout on Thursday. The Brewers allowed just six runs and piled up a whopping 33 strikeouts in taking two of the three-game set at Wrigley North. Honestly, Chicago’s 5-7 record should be worse than it is with the way they have performed. The Cubs return home for three with a talented Atlanta team beginning Friday.
The Braves have also stumbled out of the gate to a 5-8 mark behind a pitching staff with a 4.63 ERA that is the eighth-highest in baseball. Huascar Ynoa has had two excellent starts in an otherwise inconsistent rotation and Will Smith has been getting save chances when they come up.
The early offense has mainly come from the incredibly hot star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who has posted a 1.492 OPS with seven homers through 13 games. Reigning MVP Freddie Freeman is still lurking in the middle of the lineup as well.
The Cubs aren’t going to beat anyone if they keep up this current level of offensive offense. I’m tired of writing about batting slumps and I’m sure you’re tired of reading about them. Time to try being positive. Let’s get some runs, Cubs!
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, April 16 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network/Marquee
- Saturday, April 17 at 1:20pm CT on Marquee
- Sunday, April 18 at 6:00pm CT on ESPN
Starting Pitchers (subject to change)
What to Watch For
- No word as of post time whether Kyle Hendricks will make the start Sunday after being a late scratch on Tuesday with an illness.
- Wright is taking the place of Drew Smyly, who is on the IL with left forearm inflammation.
- Jason Heyward has three hits in the last two games.
- Ryan Tepera (3 games), manager David Ross (1 game), and associate pitching coach/strategist Mike Borzello (1 game) were suspended after it was deemed Tepera intentionally threw at Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff. Here’s hoping Willson Contreras hits a dinger in their honor.