The Atlanta Braves took game one of the weekend series yesterday against old friend Dansby Swanson and the Chicago Cubs in dominating fashion. Atlanta won 8-0 behind a sensational return start for Max Fried and a more high-powered offense.
Bryce Elder will look to keep the momentum going with another win on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs have not decided who will be assigned with the difficult task of neutralizing the record breaking Braves offense.
These two teams are putting up some video game-like numbers as of late. The Cubs have scored the most runs of any team in the MLB since the all-star break and the Braves have scored a total of 55 runs in their last 7 games.
What to Watch For
1. Bryce Elder
Bryce Elder has been a nice surprise for the Braves this season. He joined the rotation early in the year to fill in for the injured Kyle Wright. Elder has made the most of his opportunity by posting an 8-2 record with a 3.18 at this point in the season.
For a long stretch, Elder was leading the National League in ERA. A lot of that had to do with his performance in road games. Away from Truist Park this season, Bryce Elder is 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA.
2. Atlanta's Offense
At this point in the season, we are running out of words to describe this Atlanta Braves offense. Any adjective used does not seem to do it justice in explaining what this lineup is doing in the 2023 season.
The Braves put up 8 runs in yesterday's game and blasted three more home runs (Sean Murphy, Marcell Ozuna, and Austin Riley). Austin Riley specifically has hit 10 home runs since the All-Star break ended. That is the most in all of baseball since the break.
Depending on how the wind is blowing at Wrigley on Saturday (or it may not matter), look for the Braves to hit another homerun, or two... or three.. or more.
3. Cubs Offense
Don't let yesterday's shutout fool you. Even after being blanked in the series opener, the Chicago Cubs have scored more runs than anyone else in the MLB since the all-star break (145), including the Atlanta Braves.
Bryce Elder will most certainly be conversing with teammate Max Fried to discuss how to pitch to this talented lineup but it will be difficult to keep the Cubs' bats quiet back-to-back days.
ATL: Bryce Elder (8-2, 3.18 ERA)
CHC: Javier Assad (1-2, 3.24 ERA)
Date: August 5th, 2023
Time: 2:20 p.m. ET
Location: Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
Radio: 680 AM The Fan