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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Saturday 6/18, 1:20 CT

The Cubs go for — dare I say it? — two straight wins.

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

Today's roster move: Here

Saturday notes...

  • MORE ON STREAKS: Friday’s game marked the first game since June 16, 1953 that a team with a single-season win streak of at least 14 games faced an opponent with a double-digit single-season losing streak (St. Louis Browns at New York Yankees). The Browns had lost 14 straight at the time, but defeated the Yankees that day 3-1. (H/T: Elias Sports Bureau)
  • THE VANISHING SAC BUNT: Andrelton Simmons’ key sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning Friday was just the Cubs’ sixth of the year. Simmons leads the team with two. The Diamondbacks lead MLB with 11 and four teams (Braves, Dodgers, Marlins, Giants) have none.
  • KEEGAN THOMPSON: Thompson’s six shutout innings Friday lowered his ERA as a starter from 6.26 to 4.97. (Still high, but a significant improvement.)
  • THE MOREL FILES: Christopher Morel’s two game-opening home runs this season are one shy of the most leadoff home runs by a Cubs rookie in franchise history (Lou Brock, 3 in 1962). (H/T: Elias Sports Bureau)

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Braves lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Kyle Wright, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

After a rough beginning to his 2021 season, Justin Steele’s last three starts: 2.37 ERA, 1.211 WHIP, no home runs in 19 innings.

His only career outing vs. the Braves was one scoreless inning of relief April 16, 2021 at Wrigley Field.

Perhaps he’s turned the corner on his career.

Kyle Wright threw seven innings against the Cubs April 28 in Atlanta, allowed three hits and one run, and struck out eight.

Of his eight starts since then, seven have been good to excellent, only one clunker.

Perhaps if Steele can match Keegan Thompson’s Friday performance, there’s a chance.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Battery Power. 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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, 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.