WE ARE BACK!
The first Chicago Cubs game of the year is a 1:20 start at home, with fans in the stands. How can you not love that? The Cubs also get a fairly juicy matchup with Kyle Hendricks taking on Chad Kuhl, who’s never finished a season with an ERA below 4.20 and has pretty awful splits against left-handed hitters (the Cubs have four of those in their lineup). They probably could have had five lefties in there, but the league abandoned the universal DH for the 2021 season, so Hendricks will hit for himself this afternoon.
I wasn’t lucky enough to score tickets to today’s game, but there will be fans in attendance and this is a full 162-game season. You can’t ask for much more than that. Well, maybe besides a healthy Cubs win.
Maybe it's too much to ask for, but I just want to see the #Cubs absolutely DEMOLISH the Pirates today.
I'm talking 10+ runs from the offense and a 7+ scoreless innings from Hendricks. Just an absolute "WE'RE HERE" moment.
Very sick of being forgotten.https://t.co/Vr2C7LfDXb
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 1, 2021
The Cubs are -1.5 run favorites for this afternoon’s matchup against the Pirates, according to the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook (-225 ML) and the DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook (-225 ML). PointsBet has them at -250 on the money, with the same spread.
You can sign up for each of those books below, and get yourself a nice deposit bonus in the process.
I personally bet on Heyward (+940), Pederson (+390), and Rizzo (+520) to homer, given Kuhl’s extreme splits. But it is pretty cold today, so we’ll see if that winds up being smart.
• You can find the Cubs-Pirates Series Preview right here.
• Rowan Wick, Austin Romine, and Jonathan Holder all hit the injured list.
• There’s actually a lot to really like about this Cubs roster.
• But I don’t love that Anthony Rizzo never got that extension.
Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0) at Chicago Cubs (0-0) – Thursday, April 1st, at 1:20 CT on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (R)
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (R)
Chicago Cubs (Lineup Discussion):
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Willson Contreras, C
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Joc Pederson, LF
6. Javy Baez, SS
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. David Bote, 2B
9. Kyle Hendricks, P
1. Adam Frazier, 2B
2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
3. Bryan Reynolds, LF
4. Colin Moran, 1B
5. Kevin Newman, SS
6. Gregory Polanco, RF
7. Jacob Stallings, C
8. Anthony Alford, CF
9. Chad Kuhl, P