The Braves head to Chicago to play the Cubs

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ATLANTA, GA - MAY 5: Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves fields during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Truist Park on May 5, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
Max Fried is expected to make his first start since May 5 on Friday when the Braves take on the Cubs. (Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

Can the Atlanta Braves stop the Chicago Cubs from scoring multiple runs?

Atlanta travels to Chicago to open a three-game series on Friday (2:20 p.m. ET) as the Cubs have been red hot since the All-Star break. Chicago is 14-6 in 20 games since the season resumed and has won just three of four against the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds.

The Cubs have scored 145 runs in those 20 games — the most by any team in baseball since the break — and are now just 2.5 games back of the Reds in the middle and also 2 ,5 games back from a Wild Card spot in the National League. Former Brave Dansby Swanson has been impressive at the plate since the start of July and has already hit three homers in 12 at-bats in August.

The Braves, of course, enter with the best record in Major League Baseball and a massive 11.5-game lead in the NL East. Atlanta is seven games ahead of the Dodgers for the best record in the league and also has the best offense in baseball.

Atlanta is -165 to win this one just because Max Fried takes the ocean Friday for the first time since May. Fried has been sidelined since May 5 because of a strained left forearm. Before he was out for more than two months, Fried threw 26 innings over five starts and allowed six earned runs and struck out 25.

Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and they are +140 to win the game. Hendricks has a 3.48 ERA over 15 starts in 2023 and has struck out 48 hitters in 77.1 innings.

If you want to bet on the number of runs, rest is your favorite play. Over 8.5 runs is at -120 and a low scoring game is at +100.

Another MLB action

The Astros visit the Yankees to continue their four game streak while the Dodgers head to San Diego for a three game set. Houston is 1.5 games back of the Rangers in the AL West while the Yankees are last and 10 games back of the AL East lead despite being five games over .500.

The Padres made a few moves at the trade deadline to bolster their chances of getting into the National League Wild Card spots. San Diego is 54-55 and fourth in the NL West. The Padres are nine games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.

Houston is -145 to beat the Yankees and Hunter Brown takes on Luis Severino. Bobby Miller starts for the Dodgers against Yu Darvish as the Dodgers are -105 to win while the Padres are a slight favorite at -115.

Women’s World Cup overnight action

The finals of the Women’s World Cup will begin overnight on Saturday.

Spain are keen to beat Switzerland and Japan would prefer to beat Norway. Spain finished second in their group but are -275 to beat Switzerland. The Spanish women are tied as the No. 2 favorites to win the World Cup with the USWNT.

Japan defeated all three of their group stage opponents by a combined score of 11-0. It is -130 to beat a Norwegian team that did not live up to its potential in the group stage. Norway is +360 to win that game. The winner of this match will face the winner of the USWNT vs Sweden in the next round.

A Russell Henley favorite at the Wyndham

Russell Henley shot a 62 in the first round at the Wyndham on Thursday to end the day by one shot. That first round performance put him at +260 to win the tournament ahead of Byeong Hun An at +800. Adam Scott is at +1400 after shooting a 65 while Justin Thomas is at +15000 after shooting an even 70.

Who bought tickets on Thursday?

Those of you who bet on the Hall of Fame Game – why are you betting on preseason football? – they were happy because the Browns beat the Jets 21-16.

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