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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Sunday 4/18, 6:08 CT

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The Cubs, once again, go for the series win.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday notes...

  • HITTING SHOES: Thanks to Saturday’s outburst from the bats, the Cubs’ team batting average rose 18 points (.184 from .166), their OBP rose 14 points (.281 from .267) and their slugging mark gained 57 points (.364 from .307).
  • EVERYONE LOVES THE LONG BALL: Including his ninth career multi‐homer effort Saturday, Willson Contreras has homered in three straight games for the first time in his career. The last Cub to homer in four consecutive games is Anthony Rizzo, who did so July 29‐August 1, 2015.
  • KB: Kris Bryant yesterday recorded his 14th career multi‐homer game, tied for 13th‐most among Cubs hitters all‐time with Gabby Hartnett. Bryant’s five homers already surpass the four he hit in 38 games last season while his 10 RBI are one shy of the 11 he collected in 2020.
  • ABOUT ALL THOSE HIT BATTERS: Since the start of the 2020 season, Cubs hitters lead the majors, having been hit by a pitch 66 times, including four times Friday against Atlanta. The Mets are second (54), followed by the Athletics (50) and Brewers (49).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Braves lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP

MLB Photos via Getty Images
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks is making his third start of 2021 after having it pushed back because he was under the weather last week. This was said to be not COVID-related, so let’s hope Kyle is at 100 percent tonight, as he hasn’t pitched in 11 days.

His first start this year was bad. His second one was quite good.

The last time he faced the Braves, April 1, 2019 in Atlanta, they roughed him up pretty good, seven runs (two earned) in 4⅓ innings. Only one current member of the Braves has more than five career at-bats vs. Kyle: Marcell Ozuna, who is 12-for-32 (.375) against him with two home runs.

Bryse Wilson is making his 2021 season debut after beginning the year at the Braves alternate site.

Just 23, he’s made 15 previous appearances (seven starts) for the Braves from 2018-20. One of those starts was against the Cubs, June 27, 2019 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs pounded him for six hits and six runs (four earned) in 4⅓ innings. I’ll take another one of those, please.

Today’s game is on ESPN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop. If you do go there to interact with Braves fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.