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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves preview, Friday 8/4, 1:20 CT

The Cubs open a series against the team with MLB’s best record.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Friday notes...

  • CUBS vs. BRAVES HISTORY: If the Cubs can win two games this weekend, their all-time victory total against the Braves will be 1,250. They have lost 1,055 and tied 18, for a winning percentage of .542. The Cubs have a higher percentage against only one National League team: the Padres, whom they have played 1,809 fewer games: .547, 280-232. They have higher percentages against five American League teams, all in fewer than 31 games: Athletics (.722, 13-5), Mariners (.682, 15-7), Orioles (.632, 12-7), Angels (.550, 11-9) and Royals (.548, 17-14). (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • EN FUEGO: Jeimer Candelario in three games since joining the Cubs: .750/.786/1.000 (9-for-12), three doubles, two walks, no strikeouts. He has raised his season OPS by 30 points (.823 to .853) in just the three games.
  • DANSBY DOINGS: In 12 games since being activated from the IL July 22, Dansby Swanson is batting .318/.392/.773 (14-for-44) with two doubles, six home runs and 15 RBI. His 15 RBI since July 22 are the most in the majors.
  • ON THE UPSWING: Ian Happ, last 11 games since July 22: .315/.481/.737 (12-for-38) with three doubles, four home runs, 12 walks and 17 runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Braves lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Max Fried, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks’ last start against the Braves, June 19, 2022 at Wrigley Field, was ugly. Don’t click on the link. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

That was a few weeks before The Professor was shut down with the shoulder injury from which he has now recovered.

It’s critical, though, that Kyle keeps the ball in the ballpark. He can be prone to allowing home runs at times, and the Braves hit a lot of them. Do that and he can win this game.

Max Fried made five starts at the beginning of this season and then went on the injured list with a forearm strain. He’s missed almost three months, but after four rehab starts he has been cleared to return. This is his first start back.

Fried’s last start against the Cubs was April 26, 2022 in Atlanta and he allowed one run in six innings. It should be noted that several Cubs who played in that game are no longer on the team, and one guy new to the team since then, Cody Bellinger, is 7-for-21 (.333) vs. Fried with a home run.

Nevertheless, a healthy Fried is a good pitcher and this will not be an easy game. Fried threw 79 pitches in his last rehab start, so likely would be limited to around 90 or so today.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here. It’s also on MLB Network (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 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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.