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Aaron Blair makes second start as Braves face Cubs

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The Braves head to Wrigley Field for a three-game series against the Cubs.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After snapping an eight-game skid against the Red Sox on Thursday night, the Braves traveled to Chicago for a quick turnaround to face off with the Cubs in some daytime baseball on Friday afternoon.

With the losing streak out of the way, Aaron Blair will make his second career start. Though it won't be easy -- he'll be taking the mound against baseball's best team and the second highest scoring lineup in the MLB. Blair was solid but certainly not spectacular in his debut against the Mets. He allowed just six hits and two walks in 5.1 innings while keeping the ball in the part, but he struck out just one and didn't miss too many bats.

His challenge will be incredibly difficult against what is probably the deepest lineup in baseball, but the Cubs will be without third baseman Kris Bryant for the game. He rolled his ankle while running the bases against the Brewers on Thursday. The injury is considered just a mild sprain, and he is expected to make a return at some point in the series.

Taking the mound for the Cubs will be the left-handed Jon Lester. In his second season for Chicago, Lester has gotten off to a nice start, bringing a 2-1 record with a 1.98 ERA through four outings on the season. Lester's 3.40 FIP suggests he hasn't been quite as dominant as his ERA shows, and he's managed a crazy 90.4 percent LOB rate and .217 BABIP. So while Lester has certainly used damage control through his 27.1 innings pitched on the year, he may be due for some hits falling and some runs scoring as he makes his fifth start.

Runs being scored would be a lovely thing to see from the Braves lineup, and it'd be even nicer to see them produced at a more balanced rate across the lineup. After Nick Markakis' four-hit, three-RBI game against the Red Sox on Thursday, he's now driven in 19 of the Braves' 73 RBI's on the season. The second highest total is seven driven in by Mallex Smith. He also have more than one-third of the Braves' extra-base hits and is the only player slugging higher than .364. If the Braves want to sustain any type of scoring, it'll need to be more than the Nick Markakis show.

Thankfully, it appears that Freddie Freeman could be on his way to joining Markakis as a consistent bat in the Braves' lineup. In the four-game series against the Red Sox, Freeman raised his average 70 points as he went 8-15 with two extra-base hits.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, April 29, 2:20 p.m. ET

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago

TV: Fox Sports South

Radio: WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network, 680 AM/93.7 FM