Braves vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Cubs Get Battered by Swanson

ATL's the hottest team in MLB. Chicago? Not so much. With two teams on the opposite end of the spectrum, it's tough to back the dogs, but we're targeting a particular slugger as our best bet for Braves vs. Cubs.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2022 12:30 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a team in the league hotter than the Atlanta Braves right now, as the defending World Series champions enter this meeting with the Chicago Cubs on a 14-game winning streak. 

Will Chicago find a way to keep Atlanta from getting to 15? Keep reading our Braves vs. Cubs MLB picks and predictions for Friday, June 17 to find out. 

Braves vs Cubs odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This would look like a game in which you’d need to play the run line on paper, but you can actually get the Braves for as low as -164 if you’re looking hard enough. They’re as high as -190 elsewhere. 

The total in this game opened at 8, and is still there in most places, but it’s at 8.5 on a few sportsbooks now.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Braves vs Cubs predictions

Picks made on 6/17/2022 at 8:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Braves vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Friday, June 17, 2022
First pitch: 1:20 p.m. ET
TV: Marquee Sports Network-Chicago, Bally Sports Southeast

Braves vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Charlie Morton (4-3, 5.67 ERA): Morton’s 5.67 ERA would be the highest mark he’s had since 2010, when he was 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Perhaps the 38-year-old is finally dropping off with age, but he has some time to prove that wrong the rest of the season. Morton is, however, 2-3 with a 6.89 ERA on the road this year, and he’ll need to find a way to start pitching better in other ballparks. 

Keegan Thompson (6-2, 3.67 ERA): Thompson was looking like a reliable starting option for the Cubs for most of May, but things haven’t been quite as smooth this month. Over his last two outings, Thompson has allowed 10 earned runs in a total of 3 2-3 innings. He didn’t make it out of the first inning in his start against the New York Yankees on Sunday, and the Cubs desperately need him to figure it out soon. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Braves: Ozzie Albies 2B (Out), Tyler Matzek P (Out), Eddie Rosario OF (Out), Manny Pina C (Out), Mike Soroka P (Out), Kirby Yates P (Out), Luke Jackson P (Out), Jay Jackson P, (Out).
Cubs: Marcus Stroman P (Out), Nick Madrigal 2B (Out), Drew Smyly P (Out), Seiya Suzuki OF (Out), Wade Miley P (Out), Michael Hermosillo OF (Out), Ethan Roberts P (Out), Adbert Alzolay P (Out), Justin Steele P (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Braves are 66-31 in their last 97 games as favorites. Find more MLB betting trends for Braves vs. Cubs

Braves vs Cubs picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Braves are the hottest team in the entire league right now, as they enter on a 14-game winning streak. Now, Atlanta faces a Chicago team that has lost each of its last 10. The two are on opposite sides of the spectrum as we enter this three-game series, and the Braves are going to be feeling really good about their chances of winning the opener. 

While Morton has had a pretty disastrous season for Atlanta thus far, he’s fully capable of giving the Braves six innings of four-run ball. And while that might not seem all that great, it should be more than enough in a meeting with Thompson. The Braves have crushed right-handed pitching this year, as they’re second behind the Yankees in slugging percentage against righties. They’re also tied for first with New York in isolated power and are in the league’s Top 10 in weighted runs created. Meanwhile, Thompson also happens to be struggling mightily — he's easily the less reliable pitcher in this game. 

It’s also worth noting that Atlanta is 66-31 in its last 97 games as a favorite and 17-8 in its last 25 games coming off an off-day. 

Prediction: Braves moneyline (-164 at WynnBet)

Over/Under analysis

The Over is 4-1 in the last five Braves games, and it’s also 31-15-5 in Atlanta’s last 51 games against teams with winning percentages of 40% or worse. This Braves team is fully capable of beating up on weaker opponents, and they have scored 27 runs over the last three games. In a match-up with a struggling righty, it’s hard to envision Atlanta not scoring at least five or six runs here. 

That would mean that Chicago would just have to score three or so in order for this Over to hit, and that seems likely with Morton on the mound. Considering the Cubs have scored at least four in each of their last three games, it’s entirely realistic to expect Chicago to come through at the plate here. The Over is also 14-6-1 in the Cubs last 21 home games against teams with winning records. 

Prediction: Over 8 (-115 at PointsBet)

Best bet

While nobody in the league is currently hotter than the Braves, nobody on this Atlanta team is hotter than Swanson at the moment. Since the beginning of May, Swanson has gotten his average up from .216 to .295. The shortstop has also gotten at least two hits in four of his last six games, and he’s seeing the ball extremely well right now. With that in mind, we’re looking for him to take advantage of this amazing match-up with Thompson. 

Swanson has recorded 11 RBIs over the last seven games, and should be able to drive one in against the Cubs in this one. This is a game where Atlanta really should light up the scoreboard, and Swanson being plus-money to pitch in is just too hard to turn down. 

Pick: Dansby Swanson to record an RBI (+145)

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