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Wednesday's Best Bet
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Wednesday MLB Best Bet
Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves

The Cubs and Braves do battle in Game 3 of a four-game series tonight with the first two games split right down the middle. Each team has a one-run win in this “modified” series – Atlanta's win in Game 1 was actually in Chicago as a makeup game – but the Cubs bounced back yesterday with a 3-2 win on Atlanta's field thanks to a two-run comeback in the top of the 9th on a Ben Zobrist single.

Tonight's game has already seen some significant line movement in Atlanta's favor, but late losses like that can be hard to bounce back from immediately. Will the Braves be able to do it and prove all their betting steam as correct? Odds: Chicago (-102), Atlanta (-108); Total set at 9.5

First off let's get to the line movement here as it can't be ignored. Chicago actually opened up as -120ish favorites for this game and stayed in the -115 range overnight until the morning wave of bettors got up and pounded the Braves. Whether they all had dreams of seeing Atlanta win tonight I don't know, but the Braves have now flipped over to being favorites tonight, which is rather surprising when you see who they've got on the mound.

Atlanta is starting veteran Brandon McCarthy who has actually been a sore spot for the Braves despite their 25-16 start to the season. Atlanta is 5-3 SU in McCarthy's eight starts this year, but it's really no thanks to him as he's got a 5.58 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP in those outings, allowing 54 hits in just 40.1 IP.

Those Braves victories have been because the offense has averaged 7.1 runs per game in support for McCarthy (the 'overs' are 7-1) and erased most of his mistakes in that time. Relying on that type of production is a slippery slope as without question, McCarthy's results have way over-produced compared to his performance.

Speaking of that, McCarthy has gone from bad to worse of late as his ERA sits at 9.88 over his last three starts and the 28 hits he's allowed in just 13.2 IP during that span is just awful. In fact, the only really success he's had this year has been against the Philadelphia Phillies – McCarthy has pitched three times against Philly and has won all three games (15-2, 7-3, and 10-1) – and while the Phillies may be a team on the upswing, they don't have the offensive talent that the Cubs do.

Hell, in McCarthy's last two starts he's allowed 12 and 11 hits to the “offensive juggernaut” teams from Miami and San Francisco (I kid about the offensive juggernaut status), and yet he's a guy that bettors are putting their faith in tonight by flipping Atlanta to the favorites? I simply don't buy it.

Chicago counters with Tyler Chatwood, and while the Cubs are just 3-4 SU in his seven starts this year, Chatwood has done his part. He's got a 3.35 ERA on the season (2.81 over his last three starts), and has started to show signs of being a reliable fifth starter the Cubs were looking for when they signed him. There is no shortage of 'pop' behind Chatwood in the field for the Cubs, and they are just the sort of lineup that loves pounding on a struggling pitcher like McCarthy.

With last night's late comeback win the kindling for a potential hot streak the Cubs may have brewing and the line move being what it is, I've got no problem taking a better price on the better team in my opinion.

Atlanta – and especially McCarthy – don't deserve all this support they've gotten already today as it would not shock me to see Chicago light up McCarthy early and win this game going away.

Best Bet: Chicago (-102)

Akins: Diamond Trends - Sunday
Red Sox outlast Braves, 'over' hits
Indians reliever Miller back on DL
Marlins' Prado to DL; Riddle recalled
Mengden tosses 2-hitter; A's top D'Backs
Flaherty shines as Cards top Pirates
Pirates activate OF Marte off DL
Reynolds HR helps Nats beat Miami
Nola-led Phils top Jays and lead NL East
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