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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Thursday 4/29, 6:20 CT

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Comparison points over the last seven seasons, since the Cubs returned to contention in 2015, through 24 games:

Cubs comparisons through 24 games, 2015-21

Year Wins Losses Runs scored Runs allowed Expected W Expected L
Year Wins Losses Runs scored Runs allowed Expected W Expected L
2021 10 14 99 117 10 14
2020 16 8 115 100 14 10
2019 12 12 128 111 14 10
2018 14 10 128 95 15 9
2017 13 11 122 104 14 10
2016 18 6 146 63 20 4
2015 13 11 103 98 13 11

The expected wins and losses numbers are from this calculator.

I pass this along with no particular conclusion, just as something to generate some discussion.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Javy Báez avoids the injured list and is back in the lineup after missing three games.

Braves lineup:

Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Bryse Wilson, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, look! Adbert Alzolay finally gets to face a team other than the Brewers.

Alzolay’s pitching is better than his numbers. He’s got a 5.40 ERA — nine runs allowed in 15 innings. Of those nine, five of them scored after he had departed games, both times with the bases loaded.

So I contend that Adbert’s FIP (3.55) and WHIP (0.933) are more indicative of how well he’s pitched. His walk rate (3.0 per nine innings) and K rate (10.2 per nine innings) are good.

He has one career start vs. the Braves — June 25, 2019 at Wrigley Field. It’s relevant because a fair number of those Braves are still on the team. He allowed one hit — a solo homer by Ronald Acuña Jr. — and struck out seven in 4⅔ innings.

Adbert has thrown more than five innings once in 13 MLB appearances (nine starts). That was his last outing vs. Milwaukee, 5⅓ innings. It would be really helpful if he could go at least six tonight.

Bryse Wilson has made two starts for the Braves this year. One of them was against the Cubs, April 18 at Wrigley Field. He allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings. That was the game the Braves won 13-4.

Since then he has faced the Diamondbacks, throwing four innings (61 pitches) and allowing three runs. It should be noted, that gives him only three days rest coming into this outing, so he’s likely on a short leash.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (no blackouts).

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.