Series preview: Cubs at Braves

The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves begin a three-game series on Friday night in Atlanta:

The series

Friday, 6:35 p.m.: Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.43) vs. Julio Teheran (2-2, 1.80)

Saturday, 6:10 p.m.: Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.62) vs Ervin Santana (3-0, 2.41)

Sunday, 12:35 p.m.: Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.57) vs Alex Wood (2-5, 3.00)

Samardzija on Saturday: All eyes will be on the right-hander as he starts for the first time since throwing a career-high 126 pitches on Monday. The Braves were interested in Samardzija last offseason and presumably they will be again as the trade deadline approaches. Seeing how he responds to that heavy workload will be a nice scouting moment for teams.

Who's Hot/Who's Not: He may not be hot in the traditional sense, but Mike Olt has two home runs and three hits over the past two games. That's about as hot as he's been all season. His batting average is .184, but he says a new approach has him going in the right direction. Reliever Justin Grimm is struggling. He couldn't finish the game on Thursday against the White Sox despite an eight-run, ninth-inning lead. He was pulled after giving up a run and loading the bases. He suffered the loss on Monday against the Sox giving up two 12th-inning runs.