Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Wednesday 7/4, 6:10 CT

Fans wave their flags during a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Happy Fourth, everyone. Hope you are enjoying the day off (if you aren't working today), and doing something fun for the day, such as a barbeque, a parade, or watching fireworks, or all of those holiday traditions.

If the Cubs attempt to hold up their own Fourth of July tradition, they will lose today's game. Since 2000 -- the 12 seasons before this year -- the Cubs are 2-10 on our nation's birthday. The only wins: 2004 over the White Sox (won on a walkoff walk) and 2008 over the Cardinals.

Further, since the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, the Cubs have played them seven times on the Fourth of July. The closest they came to a win was this 3-3 tie in the second game of a 1972 doubleheader that wasn't finished due to rain.

The others?

Maybe the Cubs should ask MLB schedulers not to schedule them to play in Atlanta on this holiday. Oddly, since the Braves have been in Atlanta, the two teams have never played at Wrigley Field on July 4.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus cf, Castro ss, Rizzo 1b, Soriano lf, LaHair rf, Soto c, Barney 2b, Valbuena 3b, Maholm p

Braves lineup:

Bourn cf, Prado lf, Heyward rf, Jones 3b, Freeman 1b, Uggla 2b, Ross c, Simmons ss, Delgado p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Cubs
vs. Randall Delgado
Randall Delgado
Braves
5-6 W-L 4-8
4.84 ERA 4.52
55 SO 64
26 BB 39
11 HR 7
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Paul Maholm 5-6 15 15 0 0 0 0 83.2 86 46 45 11 26 55 4.84 1.34


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Randall Delgado 4-8 15 15 0 0 0 0 79.2 76 43 40 7 39 64 4.52 1.44

Paul Maholm had one of his best games of the year against the Braves May 9 at Wrigley Field. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed just three hits, and Rafael Dolis got a save in a 1-0 Cubs win. Yes, that was this year. Maholm is trying to build on his excellent outing against the Astros last weekend. Overall, current Braves are hitting .256 (33-for-134) against him with five home runs.

Randall Delgado's only career start against the Cubs came May 8 at Wrigley Field; he allowed one run in 5⅔ innings. Ryan Dempster matched him that day, but the bullpen blew the game. Yes, that was this year, too; it pretty much is the story of this year. Delgado gave up 14 hits and eight runs in his last two starts combined (5⅓ total innings), so maybe he can be hit today. Or maybe I'm dreaming, I dunno.

Delgado looks sad in that photo. Let's keep him that way.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:10, 8:10 and 8:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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