|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, June 26, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 38,017
Keuchel draws Cubs' Darvish in second start for Braves
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
- The Braves and Cubs face off for the second time this season, with the Braves sweeping a three-game series in Atlanta in early April. Atlanta hit .330 in that series, its second highest batting average in a series this season, and walked 21 times, the Braves' most in a three-game series since 2010.
- The Braves have won 13 of their last 16 games while outscoring their opponents by an average of 2.63 runs per game. Atlanta hitters have batted .298 with 35 home runs over that stretch.
- Cubs catchers rank first in the National League with a .290 batting average, .383 on-base percentage, .530 slugging percentage, 34 extra-base hits and 51 RBI.
- Ozzie Albies has a career batting average of .491 in 13 games against the Cubs, his highest against any single opponent that he's faced at least four times.
- Javier Baez leads all major league players with a slugging percentage of .761 after falling behind in the count 0-2, with a minimum of 20 qualifying plate appearances. Nine of Baez's 19 home runs have come after falling behind 0-2.
- Dallas Keuchel and Yu Darvish are scheduled to start against each other on Wednesday, reigniting a rivalry they had when playing for Houston and Texas, respectively. In three career starts against one another, Keuchel has a 3.06 ERA while Darvish has a 7.41 ERA. Houston won all three starts Keuchel made against Darvish.
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- Encarnación hits slam, Yanks top Rockies
- Braves edge Nats on Donaldson walk-off
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Dallas Keuchel wasn't particularly effective in his debut with the Atlanta Braves.
Now, the 31-year-old veteran will get a second chance to prove his worth to his new coaches and teammates.
Keuchel (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will take the mound when the Braves visit the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night in the third installment of a four-game series. He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings on Friday against the Washington Nationals, drawing a loss in his first outing of the year.
The Braves remain excited about Keuchel, who waited more than two months this season before finally signing with Atlanta as a free agent. He spent his first seven seasons with the Houston Astros, winning an American League Cy Young Award in 2015 and a World Series championship ring in 2017.
In two career starts against the Cubs, Keuchel is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.
"He's got a chance to be really, really good over his time here," Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters. "He started out where he should be. He gave us a chance to win."
Atlanta is looking for its second straight win after rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies each homered as the Braves evened the four-game series at one win apiece.
Meanwhile, Chicago will try to bounce back from another bullpen loss. The Cubs have dropped three of their past five games and have nine losses in their last 15 games since June 10.
Right-hander Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.75 ERA) is scheduled to make his 17th start of the season for Chicago. The veteran has a whopping 10 no-decisions in a row since his last victory April 27 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Darvish is the first pitcher in Cubs history to record 10 consecutive no-decisions. The last pitcher in the majors to notch no-decisions in 10 consecutive starts was Randy Lerch in 1977, according to the newspaper.
"Not only frustrating -- weird," Darvish told reporters after his most recent outing against the New York Mets, in which he allowed four runs in six innings. "I am not losing. I am not winning. It's just weird. I want to win."
Cubs manager Joe Maddon is confident that Darvish will get his wish.
"I have no issue with the way he's throwing the baseball," Maddon told reporters. "He's throwing the ball really well. If there's anything to look at, if he could just put a topper on after we score a couple points -- him getting out there clean and coming back in -- I think that would really help get away from the no-decision situation. ...
"Physically, I am really pleased with the way he's pitching."
Darvish is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in three career starts against Atlanta. He faced the Braves once this season, giving up three runs in four innings and drawing the loss on April 4.
Chicago is 28-15 at home this season. Atlanta is 23-16 on the road.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 26, 2019