Braves at Cubs MLB Pick for June 24
There are just seven games around Major League Baseball on Monday night, with perhaps the most interesting matchup happening in the Windy City. The Chicago Cubs, fresh off of splitting four games with the Mets over the weekend, will play host to the Atlanta Braves, who just took two of three from the Nationals in Washington.
This matchup with two of the three division-leading teams in the National League carries plenty of intrigue, and a couple of divisive starters will take the mound in the series opener. Jon Lester will take the ball for the Cubs against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.
|2019 ATR Home||19-22||23-18|
|2019 ATR Away||20-17||17-19|
|2019 O/U Home||25-14-2||19-20-2|
|2019 O/U Away||19-17-1||21-15-0|
The weather is going to be a major factor in this game. With the way Wrigley Field is designed, which way the wind is blowing tends to have a major effect on the flight of the ball. If winds are blowing in from the outfield, hitting the ball over the fence tends to be incredibly difficult in this park. When the wind is blowing out, the opposite is true.
Winds are expected to be gusting toward the outfield tonight, which means the ball will be flying. It’s also expected to be in the mid-70s during the game, and the fairly warm temperatures certainly won’t be doing pitchers any favors either. This game has a total of 11 ½ runs, which is the highest of any game on the schedule Monday night.
Lester has pitched better this season than he did in 2018, but he’s still not an elite pitcher at this stage of his career. The southpaw has allowed a high hard-hit rate of 41.6% so far, as well as 14 home runs through 14 starts.
Lester has seen an uptick in his strikeout numbers this season, but he’ll be facing a right-handed heavy Braves lineup that doesn’t strike out much to begin with. Atlanta has a collective 20.8% K-rate against left-handed pitching this season, which is the seventh-lowest mark in all of baseball.
There is also no shortage of thunder in the lineup, as Lester will have to deal with the powerful right-handed bats of Ronald Acuna Jr., Josh Donaldson, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson. Don’t forget Freddie Freeman, who has hit his fellow lefties well over the course of his entire career.
Regression for Teheran?
Julio Teheran has a 21.2% strikeout rate on the season alongside a tidy 3.40 ERA. However, his xFIP is sitting at 5.08 and his SIERA is 5.10, so there’s been a good bit of luck involved in that 3.40 ERA.
Teheran has allowed 39.8% hard hits, and opposing hitters have a freakishly low .206 BABIP against the right-hander. That’s going to come up as the season progresses, and he’s in a pretty brutal spot tonight against a decent Cubs lineup at windy Wrigley.
Teheran has always struggled quite a bit more with left-handed bats, and this season has been no exception thus far. For his career, the 28-year-old has yielded a .336 wOBA to lefty bats, and tonight, he’ll be dealing with the likes of Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, and Jason Heyward, among others.
This one is very simple. A run total of 11 ½ is exceptionally high, especially for a game not taking place at Coors Field in Denver, but everything points to tons of runs being scored in this one. We have a couple of overrated pitchers on the mound, and the ball will be flying tonight.
Give me the over on 11 ½ runs, especially considering the favorable -105 odds.
$100 stake could win...