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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Monday 4/26, 6:10 CT

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The Cubs open a four-game series in Atlanta.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Monday notes:

  • THIS SEEMS OBVIOUS: The Cubs are 8-1 when scoring four or more runs in a game, but 2-10 when scoring fewer than four. The team is 7-1 when out-hitting opponents, but just 3-10 when hit totals are equal or the club has been out-hit.
  • OLD HOME WEEK: There are lots of former Braves in the Cubs traveling party. Rex Brothers pitched for the Braves in 2017-18, outfielder Jason Heyward and closer Craig Kimbrel both played here from 2010-14 and Dan Winkler pitched for Atlanta from 2015-19. Cubs manager David Ross played for Atlanta for four seasons from 2009-12 and third base coach Willie Harris played for the Braves in 2007.
  • THE CUBS CATCHER: Willson Contreras, last 12 games: .295/.380/.659 (13-for-44) with five home runs.
  • KEEPING AN EVEN KEEL: The Cubs have been at .500 five times this year: 1-1, 3-3, 4-4, 9-9 and 10-10. A win tonight would make that six times.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Well, I asked for a slightly different lineup, and here we have one. Hope it works.

Braves lineup:

Also of interest:

Good thing the weather forecast is clear. This is the crew that messed up a rain situation in Cincinnati last week.

Zach Davies, RHP vs. Charlie Morton, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Let’s just say that Zach Davies’ first four starts as a Cub have been a disappointment.

Know who else had a Cubs beginning similar to this? That’s right, Jon Lester, who had a 6.23 ERA after his first four Cub starts in 2015. That worked out OK.

Now, I am well aware that Davies is no Lester. But he had made 123 MLB starts prior to 2021 with generally good results. I believe that will come.

As far as this game is concerned, Davies faced the Braves 10 days ago at Wrigley Field and the results were... not great. He threw 90 pitches in just four innings and allowed seven hits and three walks. Needless to say, we hope that will not be repeated tonight.

Speaking of weather, there’s a school of thought that says that control/location guys like Davies have trouble with that in colder weather. The average game-time temp for Davies’ four starts is 57 degrees. Perhaps the warmer conditions in Atlanta will help.

The Cubs used to see Charlie Morton often when he was with the Pirates, but he has not faced them since 2015. Since then he’s pitched in two World Series and seems rejuvenated at age 37. (Fun fact: One of Morton’s rotation-mates in Atlanta in his rookie year of 2008 was Mike Hampton.)

Morton has made four starts this year, three of them very good. The only Cub who has more than a handful of at-bats vs. Morton is Anthony Rizzo (5-for-20, two doubles, a home run).

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on ESPN (outside the Cubs and Braves market territories).

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.