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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Braves series preview

The Cubs face the 2021 World Series champions for the first time this year.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

I’m thinking of a baseball team. A 2022 baseball team.

It’s won a game in a double-digit blowout, but also lost a series at home to a bad ballclub and hasn’t had much luck with the good teams, either. A stalwart starting pitcher is off to a bad start and a couple of hitters expected to be strong have OPS numbers under .600.

Oh, wait. You thought I was talking about the Cubs. All of that describes the 2022 Atlanta Braves, who enter this series with a record a half-game worse than the Chicago Cubs.

It just goes to show you: It’s early. Lots can still happen in the 2022 season.

For more on the Braves, here’s Kris Willis, manager of our SB Nation Braves site Battery Power:

It has been a bit of an up and down start to 2022 regular season for the Atlanta Braves. Inconsistency has plagued the team in a similar fashion as to what we saw from the 2021 squad for most of the season. There have been some bright spots. Matt Olson has fit in seamlessly at first base and is putting up one of the best Aprils in team history. Ozzie Albies is tied for the major league lead with six home runs and Ronald Acuña Jr. will be back soon. Kyle Wright has been a pleasant surprise for the rotation early on, but the team just hasn’t been able to put it all together and string together some wins.

Top to bottom, this roster may be more talented than last season. There are some new faces and it looks like they are still feeling things out in the early going.

Fun fact

Of the 25 men who played in the 2021 World Series for the Braves, nine of them are no longer (or not currently, but still in the Atlanta organization) on their active roster (Ehire Adrianza, Tucker Davidson, Freddie Freeman, Luke Jackson, Dylan Lee, Chris Martin, Joc Pederson, Drew Smyly and Jorge Soler). Two of those players — Martin and Smyly — are currently Cubs. That would have been three, except Jesse Chavez, who was on that Atlanta WS roster, was traded there last week for Sean Newcomb.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (0-2, 8.78 ERA, 1.650 WHIP, 5.26 FIP) vs. Max Fried, LHP (1-2, 3.50 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 1.53 FIP)

Wednesday: Mark Leiter Jr., RHP (0-1, 11.05 ERA, 1.909 WHIP, 7.18 FIP) vs. Charlie Morton, RHP (1-2, 6.32 ERA, 1.532 WHIP, 5.51 FIP)

Thursday: Drew Smyly, LHP (1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.023 WHIP, 4.05 FIP) vs. Kyle Wright, RHP (2-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.765 WHIP, 0.73 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Tuesday: 6:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Wednesday: 6:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Thursday: 6:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Braves market territories)

Prediction

Goodness, those pitching matchups don’t look favorable. Let’s just hope the Cubs don’t get swept here.

Up next

The Cubs travel to Milwaukee for a three-game series against the Brewers that begins Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Braves?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    3
    (7 votes)
  • 14%
    2
    (25 votes)
  • 56%
    1
    (100 votes)
  • 25%
    0
    (45 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now