MLB Opening Day Countdown Series – Chicago Cubs

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Traveling to Nashville so doing this from my phone so I apologize if the format is off.

Chicago Cubs Record: (92-70)

1st in NL Central
Off-Season Transactions:
Signed Yu Darvish in Free Agency
Signed Tyler Chatwood in Free Agency
Projected Starting Rotation:

Yu Darvish- Oh Yu, he has really good strike out stuff but can also get blown up. Super high upside with him especially against teams like the Brewers who he will face a lot. With that being said he will also be very risky because he gives up about a Home Run per 9 innings to the right handed side of the plate and a little over a Home Run and a Half per 9 innings to the left handed bats. He will be an option on many slates this year with his upside but I’m always cautious with him.

Jon Lester- very elite vs left handed bats with upside for huge games vs a left handed heavy lineup. You can definitely attack him with a right handed bat or two. He gives up about a home run per outing on average to right handed hitters. A ground ball pitcher though so don’t get to crazy attacking him. He is also known for letting runners steal bases very easily on him but near the end of the year he actually did a better job holding runners by at least making an effort rather than acting like they don’t exist. Something to keep an eye on.

Jose Quintana- another elite arm vs left handed hitters and had good strikeout stuff vs both handed batters. Much like Lester you can attack him with a bat or two as a leverage or contrarian play. When it comes to pitching him he has really high upside but can get touched up from time to time as well.

Kyle Hendricks- a really solid pitcher who I wouldn’t mess around with by attacking him. He has okay strikeout stuff but mostly works different pitchers around the zone and makes you uncomfortable at the plate inducing a lot of soft and medium contact and high amounts of ground balls. Not huge upside but usually a safe option as well.
Tyler Chatwood- I think this guy is going to be really good this year moving from Colorado to Chicago. He was a victim of pitching at Coors and you can see it in the comparison of results and advanced stats. He also had a 6 ERA at home and a 3.5 ERA on the road. I usually don’t even pay attention to ERA but that’s quite the difference and needs to be considered here. He doesn’t have massive strikeout upside but he is an extreme ground ball pitcher who limits hard contact. I like him this year for the Cubs.

Bullpen:

I think their bullpen got worse this year with the loss of their closer Wade Davis. However, the Cubs do a great job in the analytical department and Joe Madden is good at implementing this with bullpen matchups which allows them to reach their true potential in most situations

Projected Starting Lineup:

This lineup is very fluid with Joe Madden so this is just a outline. Make sure you’re looking at lineups before lock because sometimes Almora can move from the 8 spot up to the 1 or 2 spot in one day.

Ian Happ (OF)- Huge upside especially vs right handed pitching. Still a good option when batting right handed but I prefer taking him when he is batting lefty. He strikes out a ton but when he connects he hits the ball hard and packs fantasy upside.

Kris Bryant (3B)- It’s Kris Bryant. Really good option every slate. One of the leagues best.

Anthony Rizzo (1B)- Same here for Rizzo. One of the leagues best. In play on every slate.

Wilson Contreras (C)- I really liked him when there was a catching slot you had to secure. But I’m not sure how much I’ll find myself rostering him over a 1st baseman on Fanduel because I’m sure he will be priced up. Still has massive upside and I like him as a player.

Kyle Schwarber (OF)- Huge upside here as well but strikes out a lot. Only going to play vs right handed pitchers so don’t have to worry about him vs a left handed pitcher. Massive upside but strikes out a lot and a 0 is very easily in sight on any given slate.

Addison Russell (SS)- a solid shortstop option who can get on base and also hits for some power as well. I prefer him when he bats higher in the lineup to get the upside of the runs scored with the guys hitting behind him.

Jason Heyward (OF)- would only consider rostering him in a Cubs stack but still not my favorite cheap option on the Cubs. Not a whole ton of upside with him.

Javy Biaz (2B)- huge upside at a cheap price for him because he is usually very cheap. Swings for the fence every pitch so beware cause a 0 is very obtainable.

Ben Zobrist (2B)- he is a solid guy in the lineup who hits for a decent average and gets on base. Like him in stacks if you’re thinking of playing him.

Albert Almora Jr. (OF)- I like this guy as a player. A good cheap option vs left handed pitching if you want to go there. He has some power upside as well. I think if he got more playing time he would produce. I’ll keep my eye on him.

Playing Field:

Wrigley Field
Ball Park Factor- 11th
The wind is important here because it determines what you want to do. Gust can get up to 25 mph either out or in. With my Brewers playing here a lot I have literally witness home runs getting pushed back and pop ups going out.


Must Knows of the Chicago Cubs:

This team has an elite rotation and has a very high upside offense. However, you can get really good tournament pitching options ab the Cubs as they are a high strikeout offense and are also a streaky offense. Catch them on the cold streak and you’ll get a pitcher in a great spot with high strikeout potential who will be low owned because everyone is scared to attack the Cubs.