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MLB Cubs at Braves

April 19, 2007

MLB Baseball - Chicago Cubs (-117, 9) and Atlanta Braves 7:30 PM EST

Atlanta is cruising along at the top of the National League East and goes for the sweep against Chicago in a short two game series.

Carlos Zambrano of the CubsLast night Braves handled the Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, raising their record to 10-4 and +4.1 units. While Zambrano continues to struggle for Chicago, Atlanta will face who is the hottest pitcher on the Cubs staff.

Rich Hill has accounted for 40 percent of the Cubs wins with his 2-0 start and has sterling 0.64 ERA, pitching at least seven innings in each game. Dating back to last season, Hill is 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in his last eight starts. The left-hander combines a fastball and curve mix that has been able to get big league hitters out, now the 27-year has the confidence to go with it.

Fans of the North Side team are a bit perplexed that all 297.55 million buys you is the same last place they have seen for years. Chicago has failed miserably in getaway day games with 11-23 (-16.9 Units) record against the money line when playing on Thursday over the last three seasons. If they are to earn a split, the right opposing pitcher is on the mound.

Atlanta signed Mark Redman in March to help out an injury-plagued rotation and he might not be a starter much longer unless dramatic improvement occurs. Redman is 0-2 with a 12.95 ERA, being pounded for 12 runs and 15 hits in just over eight regrettable innings.

Lance Cormier is scheduled to come off the disabled list soon which could spell the end for Redman. For a big guy at 6í5 245, Redman is a finesse pitcher with borderline major league velocity, especially in his advancing years. Heís typically durable, if no longer all that effective. His most outstanding contribution to the gambling community is he is 7-0 OVER in April games over the last two seasons. (Team's Record)

The oddsmakers at show how little faith they have in the Atlanta pitcher by making the Cubs a -117 money line road favorite in spite of losing 7 of last 9.

Chicago does not inspire confidence in this role of seeking revenge, with 4-15 record after losing to any team in prior game and is now favored.

Manager Bobby Coxís Braves are brimming with confidence playing the Cubs with 8-1 mark at Turner Field in recent years and 12-3 overall. Cox is looking for a better game from Redman who is 2-2 with 3.56 ERA vs. Chicago; however hasnít faced them since 2005.

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