angel stadium[Reminder: Brett and Michael live stream here at BN at 7:30pm CT in advance of the opener. Come, ask questions, have fun.]

Well, here we are: Opening Day 2016. After a long and exciting offseason, the regular season finally begins, albeit with an unusual AL two game series.

Jake Arrieta takes the ball for the first time after his Cy Young award winning season and squares up against Angels righty Garrett Richards.

Although there were rumors that Tommy La Stella might get the start tonight (as the DH) instead of Jorge Soler, that’s not the case. And that’s at least partially because – despite being a righty, himself – Richards was actually a bit tougher against lefties (.279 wOBA against) than righties (.309 wOBA against) in 2015. In fact, Richards struck out lefties at a much higher rate in 2015 (22.9%) than righties (17.4%), as well. Combined with Soler’s greater ceiling and greater potential for working his way into starts throughout the year, it makes sense to see him get the start (even as the DH) in this one, tonight.



Otherwise, the Cubs lineup is pretty much what we’ve come to expect over the last few weeks, and boy is it pretty. Aside from all of the power, on base skills, patience and projection, the Cubs lineup features two switch hitters, four lefties and three righties. You just can’t beat that kind of balance. With the addition of Zobrist and Heyward, the contact ability should be greatly increased, as well. It’s just a deep, exciting lineup, and I can’t wait to see what they can do over the course of the season.

And, of course, it all begins tonight.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (0-0) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (0-0), 9:05 CT on ABC-7 and ESPN2 .

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jake Arrieta

  • 2016: 0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP, 0.00 xFIP; 0.00 K/BB
  • 2015: 1.77 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 2.61 xFIP; 4.92 K/BB

versus

Angels: Garrett Richards

  • 2016: 0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP, 0.00 xFIP; 0.00 K/BB
  • 2015: 3.65 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 3.80 xFIP; 2.32 K/BB

Anaheim Angels Lineup

1. Yunel Escobar, 3B

2. Daniel Nava, LF

3. Mike Trout, CF

4. Albert Pujols, DH

5. Kole Calhoun, RF

6. C.J. Cron, 1B

7. Andrelton Simmons, SS

8. Carlos Perez, C

9. Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Ben Zobrist, 2B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Kris Bryant, 3B

6. Kyle Schwarber, LF

7. Jorge Soler, DH

8. Miguel Montero, C

9. Addison Russell, SS




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