Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves Picks and Predictions May 22nd 2024

Chi. Cubs Cubs vs Atlanta Braves MLB Wed, May 22, 19:40 pm.
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: 110
Atlanta Braves
ML: -130

Braves’ Max Fried Aims to Keep Dominating the Cubs

Max Fried is set to extend his impressive streak against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night as the Atlanta Braves visit for the second game of their three-game series. The Cubs managed a tight 4-3 victory in 10 innings during the opener on Tuesday, tying the season series at 2-2.

Max Fried vs. Justin Steele: A Left-Handed Showdown

In Wednesday’s matchup, Fried (3-2, 3.81 ERA) will face off against Chicago’s Justin Steele (0-1, 5.21 ERA). Fried has been nothing short of stellar against the Cubs, boasting a 5-0 record and a 1.24 ERA in five career starts. He’s also excelled at Wrigley Field, with a 3-0 record and a 1.59 ERA in three starts. Although his last outing against San Diego wasn’t his best—he was pulled after 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs—his history against the Cubs suggests a strong potential for a bounce-back.

On the other hand, Steele, despite dealing with some early-season injuries, has shown resilience. He is 15-8 with a 2.74 ERA at Wrigley Field since the beginning of 2022. Against the Braves, he has had mixed results but has won his last two starts at home.

Braves’ Offensive Struggles

The Braves have been struggling offensively, particularly with runners in scoring position. Their 0-for-14 performance in Tuesday’s game and a meager 3.18 runs per game average in May highlight their issues. Manager Brian Snitker believes the team is trying too hard, which is affecting their performance.

Marcell Ozuna extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 1-for-4 performance but made a crucial base-running error in the 10th inning, killing a potential scoring opportunity. The Braves also miss third baseman Austin Riley, out with left side tightness for eight games. However, catcher Sean Murphy, who’s been out since March 30 with a left oblique strain, is on a rehab assignment and hit a home run on Tuesday.

Cubs’ Boost from Dansby Swanson’s Return

The Cubs got a significant boost with the return of shortstop Dansby Swanson from a sprained knee. He contributed with two hits and a run in Tuesday’s win. Swanson’s return adds depth to the Cubs’ lineup and boosts their morale.

Analysis of the Matchup

Pitching Matchup:

  • Max Fried: Fried’s excellent record against the Cubs and strong performances at Wrigley Field make him a formidable opponent. His shaky recent outing is likely an anomaly given his history.
  • Justin Steele: Steele’s solid record at Wrigley and his resilience make him a strong contender despite his early-season struggles. His past success against the Braves could lead to a competitive game.

Offensive Struggles:

  • Braves: The Braves’ inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position is a major issue. Their performance in May has been lackluster, and overcoming this psychological barrier is crucial for turning their offense around.
  • Cubs: With Swanson back in the lineup, the Cubs have a better chance to exploit the Braves’ pitching weaknesses.

Injuries and Returns:

  • Braves: The return of Sean Murphy is a positive sign, but the Braves need more of their lineup healthy to improve their offensive game.
  • Cubs: Swanson’s return is already making a difference, and his performance will be key in the series.


Max Fried’s impressive track record against the Cubs and his potential to rebound from a subpar performance create an optimistic outlook for the Braves. However, Atlanta’s ongoing offensive challenges and key injuries present hurdles. Justin Steele’s stability at Wrigley Field and recent successes against the Braves add intrigue to this pitching contest. Both teams’ resilience and ability to adapt will be crucial in determining the outcome of Wednesday night’s game.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Wed, May 22, 08:45 am.
Chi. Cubs Cubs
O 8.5
Atlanta Braves
U 8.5
James Anderson | Handicapper

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