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turner fieldThe Braves are really scuffling, and so are the Cubs. So maybe this will be a good series. That will require, of course, the Braves forgetting that, at their core, they are the better team right now.

Jason Hammel looks to continue his hot start to the 2014 season, and he gets a Braves lineup that has really struggled lately. On the other bump, there’s Julio Teheran, who has emerged as the dominant righty we’ve been hearing about as a prospect for so many years. He’s a stud, and you’ll have to excuse the Cubs’ bats if they don’t quite repeat last night’s explosion.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (12-21) at Atlanta Braves (18-15), 6:35 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel (2.43 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 3.53 xFIP; 3.56 K/BB)

versus

Julio Teheran (1.80 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 3.88 xFIP; 3.67 K/BB)

Atlanta Braves Lineup

(I had to write this up and schedule it long before the lineups were actually released. Taking a guess here, and if someone could be helpful and drop the actual lineup in the comments when it’s released (by the time you’re seeing this, the lineups are actually probably already out), I’d appreciate it.)

1. Jason Heyward, RF

2. Justin Upton, LF

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B

4. Evan Gattis, C

5. Chris Johnson, 3B

6. B.J. Upton, CF

7. Andrelton Simmons, SS

8. Dan Uggla

9. Julio Teheran, C

Chicago Cubs Lineup

(I had to write this up and schedule it long before the lineups were actually released. Taking a guess here, and if someone could be helpful and drop the actual lineup in the comments when it’s released (by the time you’re seeing this, the lineups are actually probably already out), I’d appreciate it.)

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 2B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Mike Olt, 3B

7. Ryan Kalish, LF

8. John Baker, C

9. Jason Hammel, P

  • Jim

    1. E. Bonifacio, CF J. Heyward, RF
    2. R. Kalish, LF J. Upton, LF
    3. A. Rizzo, 1B F. Freeman, 1B
    4. S. Castro, SS E. Gattis, C
    5. N. Schierholtz, RF C. Johnson, 3B
    6. L. Valbuena, 2B B. Upton, CF
    7. M. Olt, 3B A. Simmons, SS
    8. J. Baker, C J. Teheran, P
    9. J. Hammel, P R. Pena, 2B

  • Jim

    Formatting fail.

  • StarlinBLASTBRO

    Braves:

    Heyward RF
    J. Upton LF
    Freeman 1B
    Gattis C
    Johnson 3B
    B. Upton CF
    Simmons SS
    Teheran P
    Pena 2B

    Cubs:
    Bonifacio CF
    Kalish LF
    Rizzo 1B
    Castro SS
    Schierholtz RF
    Valbuena 2B
    Olt 3B
    Baker C
    Hammel P

  • Diehardthefirst

    What do Sanchez Hensley Obrien and Burawa mean? No they are not a law firm- they equal Shark if BR the BN foe is right

    • Fishin Phil

      I was really hoping for Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe.

      • cubmig

        …And I was hoping for: Samardzija, Schierholtz & Schlitter

    • Danny Ballgame

      I can’t really take anything that BR says as even close to true. They have some of the sloppiest reporting that I have ever read. Very little fact-checking and I get a general sense that many of them do not follow the Cubs very closely.

      • Soda Popinski

        Very true, Danny. Some of the stuff I read on there is just bizarre.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      Okay just once link what you are referring to.

      • Diehardthefirst

        If I do I could be shot for treason even tho I am only scouting the enemy

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Okay got it you just made that up

          • Diehardthefirst

            No- just google Bleacher Report and its in today’s edition- hope I am not deleted for this

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Oh I saw that but not those players listed hence you made it up

              • Diehardthefirst

                No it’s right there in print large enough even for you- need to scroll down and look at trades to be made

              • Diehardthefirst

                Your silence speaks volumes- dont stay on that sight too long as is addictive and we don’t want to have to come get you

                • TWC

                  Jesus criminy, you’re a dope.

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    Yup quite fun to try and have a discussion where everything could be silenced by a simple link… and I’ve looked at BN and that trade is not mentioned.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                The piece diehard is referring to.

                http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2056155-mlb-trade-ideas-that-could-actually-happen/page/8

                Basically, pick some random names out of the Yankee farm system and dream up some half hearted reasons why they make sense.

                In this case, Sanchez is the one guy that really does make sense.

                Hensley has barely pitched professionally and already has had shoulder and hip problems. He’d be an even bigger gamble than Vizcaino was.

                O’Brien is probably a first baseman who, if you dream a little, you can almost see playing some catcher and maybe some outfield in the right situation.

                Burawa would not stand out at all in the Cub system, and young relievers aren’t exactly in scarce supply in Chicago right now.

                Basically, it would be Sanchez, a lottery ticket, and a couple interesting other guys.

                I strongly the suspect the Cubs could do better than that (although finding a better overall bat than Sanchez, let alone at catcher, could be tough – that part I really do like).

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  For farks sake he’s citing a “BS Rumor” article as if it’s got any validity… might as well just search message boards everywhere and list them as mentionable.

                  • Diehardthefirst

                    Luke’s analysis shows why Sanchez is key … If Yanks want Shark that bad will need bigger bait

                    • SenorGato

                      I think Banuelos stacks with alot of second pieces, and Sanchez is one of the bigger prospects they might land. Severino…Judge…Heathcott/Williams/Austin…there’s stuff to fill out.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Part 2- from the Yankees

  • MaxM1908

    Alright, I need some fantasy advice. I have both Teheran and Hammel on my fantasy team. I’d prefer not to start them both as I have better matchups this weekend I’d like to play. Who do I start? My gut is telling me Teheran, given the Cubs are on the road and have shown the ability to get completely dominated by a pitcher. I know the Braves lineup is struggling, but I still think there’s better overall talent in that lineup. In the Hammel column, though…I don’t want to cheer against the Cubs’ bats tonight. What to do, what to do.

    • Rebuilding

      You have to start Teheran

      • Rebuilding

        The Cubs break out from time to time, but they are consistently are one of the teams you pick in. The Braves are to, but I would definitely give Hammel a few more starts before I would use him in any league. He’s definitely not as good as he’s been so far. This is doubly true if you are in a league where K’s are a counting stat

        • Rebuilding

          “pick on” and “Braves are too”

      • MaxM1908

        That’s what my head (and not my heart) was telling me. Thanks, I tend to agree.

        • Rebuilding

          Yeah, I have that problem all of the time as I’ve been picking on the Cubs all year. Just root for a 0-0 game into the 8th where the Cubs K 13 times and then win it against the Braves bullpen

          • MaxM1908

            Is it sad that I was a little disappointed in that Olt homer?

    • Diehardthefirst

      Fantasy baseball is to reading box scores what the I Phone is to the telegram

    • Paddy26

      Go with Teheran. That way, if the Cubs get dominated, at least your fantasy team benefited. If the Cubs hit Teheran, they probably win and you can find solace in that.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Do you mind if I don’t smoke?

    • Hee Seop Chode

      [img]http://parkdaleroadrunners.com/wp-content/uploads/IRBS-REF-FRONT.jpg[/img]

  • Diehardthefirst

    I like the way Shark called out the FO- now their leverage to trade him went south but hey they shoulda pulled the trigger 126 pitches ago

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      We really need to have a weekly segment called “Die hard’s Corner – Way Out of Left Field”

      • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

        A phrase developed due to original Yankee stadium’s left field stands, I due believe. That 461′ made mortals weep.

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          As do his comments

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    A quick Mike Olt analysis: http://deepcenterfieldmlb.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/cubs-mike-olt-is-he-mark-reynolds-jr-with-a-better-glove-or-someone-else/

    With his recent outburst, I took a look it him versus post 2010 Mark Reynolds. Some similarity in their heat maps…

  • Diehardthefirst

    Site– oops no pun intended

  • Seabee

    MLB.TV free game of the day on cubs.com

  • Chris

    Are they in a rain delay er something? CSN has no game?

    • Chris

      Nevermind.. just saw the rain delay in the comcast logo…

  • Seabee

    Rain Delay

  • Seabee

    Play Ball !!!

  • Medicos

    What’s wrong these umpires: KALISH should have been called out on strikes on two different pitches and then he was safe at 2nd on the steal.

    • auggie

      Gattis must have trouble framing pitches. Just kidding – like JD said all of the first 4 pitches to Kalish were strikes.

  • Diesel

    The umpires are bad tonight

  • Diesel

    Anyone else hate that stupid chant the braves fans do every time they do something?

    • TWC

      “Anyone else hate the stupid braves?”

      FTFY.

      Yes.

  • cubmig

    Len needs to pronounce the Braves pitcher name right. He says it as Teheran -like the Iran city. The guy is from Columbia so I am sure it should be pronounced Teh -heh-ran–the big difference being in the “Teh” part.

    • cubmig

      …sorry…..big part = the “heh” part……….sorry

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      tay-ay-RAHN

      No “h” sound in Spanish.

  • kj1

    What are the chances Houston picks under slot with the first pick in next month’s draft? They could select Hoffman, pay him a $2M signing bonus and use the extra money to pay over slot for later round picks. Estimated time tfor Hoffman to reach the majors could still be ahead of picking a high schooler with the first pick. Crazier things have happened.

  • cubmig

    Damn. I think Olt found his mojo magic!!!!

  • Seabee

    Olt with a Homer.

  • Kyle

    I soak in my shame.

    • Head and Heart

      Eat that delicious humble pie!! lol

      That’s maybe the most encouraging swing yet. A legit major league pitcher that throws right handed.

  • mudge

    Sweet mother of Jesus Olt’s got the stroke.

  • Seabee

    Is it too early to start the Olt for Rookie of the Year.

    • Jason P

      Way too early still

      • Head and Heart

        The crazy thing is that he could be a zero WAR player and strike out 35 percent of the time and if he led the league in HR and RBI for rookies he’d get a lot of ROY votes.

  • ThatCubsGuy

    This is why you have to let the guy play. Goodness!

  • Rebuilding

    Olt might only play in 100 games, bat 210 and lead the league in homers

    • https://twitter.com/dwoytek dw8

      Before tonight, I’d say he was trending more toward 120 starts.

      • Voice of Reason

        I’ve been one of the biggest proponents of letting Olt play every day, but keep your pecker in your pants. We need more at bats.

        Olt needs to be sent down…. Olt should be Rookie of the Year….

        you guys are all over the place. Be patient and let him get enough at bats so we have an idea what Olt has for the future. Let him play as long as he is healthy. Even if it’s a tough righty we need to see how Olt handles the at bat.

        The Cubs lose 100 games no matter who plays third base so why should anyone else but our potential third baseman play there?

        • Head and Heart

          “You guys are all over the place”

          I know, right? It’s almost like maybe they are two different groups of people. That’s how all over the place they are.

          Now if you’ll excuse me. I have to go hang some brain. Beacuse no one, and I mean NO ONE, tells me what to do with my pecker.

  • mjhurdle

    Pedro Alvarez 2.0 only with better defense?

  • Seabee

    The Carlos Pena of third base.

    • mudge

      That’s it.

    • CubsFaninMS

      If he’s that, he will be quite an asset to turn over from the Garza trade. He’d turn into two to three high-caliber prospects in a few years or several good years of production for our team if we are in the race.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Olt on pace for 34 home runs, 133 strike outs. I’d take it. Hopefully that BABIP creeps up.

    • SenorGato

      Interesting. I’ll say this…if forced to pick between Junior Lake and Mike Olt, I would easily take Olt.

  • waittilthisyear

    evan gattis is my favorite somewhat random player in the . el oso blanco

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