Cubs: In their first game of the season, the Cubs used a lineup with a hot of great hitters. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Wilson Contreras are all great hitters who all posted on-base percentages of over .350 in 2019. Bryant won the NL MVP in 2016, so you know every time he steps up to the plate, he has a chance to do something special. The Cubs are around the top 10 in most power rankings because of the balance in their lineup day in and day out.
Brewers: The Brewers' lineup is a lot less balanced than the Chicago Cubs. They are very top-heavy with Christian Yelich being by far their best hitter. Yelich won MVP in 2018 and came pretty close to it in 2019. In 2019, he ranked 1st in OPS with 1.100, 2nd in AVG with .329, 6th in home runs with 44, 2nd in OBP with .429, and 1st in SLG with .671. Yelich is one of, if not the best hitters in baseball who is a threat to hit a home run every time he steps up to the plate.
Advantage - Cubs: The first game of the season showed what happens when Yelich fails to get going as only 1 player on the team recorded a hit. Orlando Arcia, who bats 9th recorded 3 hits off of Hendricks in his 3 at-bats. The Cubs were much more balanced as they hat 5 players record 1 hit in Rizzo, Schwarber, Caratini, Hoerner, and Happ. The Cubs have the advantage because they are a lot deeper than the Brewers.
Cubs - Tyler Chatwood: Chatwood went in to spring training as the 5th pitcher for the Cubs. But, because of an injury to Jose Quintana Chatwood has been bumped up to #3, surpassing Jon Lester. Chatwood has always been a decent starting pitcher but has never been able to take it to the next level because he gives up too many walks. For his career, Chatwood has never had his WHIP fall below 1.200 and has never had his ERA fall below 3.00.
Brewers - Freddy Peralta: Peralta can not be counted on to have 100 pitches in every start. In his 22 career starts, he has posted a 1.310 WHIP and a 5.27 ERA. Peralta was pushed into the third position because of injuries to the other pitchers on this team. He is going into his third year in the MLB and he regressed from his first year to his second year. In his second year, his ERA was 5.29, compared to 4.25 in his first year. His WHIP was 1.459, compared to 1.136 in his first year.
Advantage - Cubs: Chatwood is by no means an amazing pitcher, but he is still better than Peralta. Both pitchers are starting this game, even though they should be lower on the depth chart but aren't due to injury. Chatwood has been the much better pitcher throughout his career than Peralta. Even though Peralta is ranked a decent amount higher than Chatwood, his numbers from his first 2 seasons are too high not to overlook. I am giving a slight advantage to the Cubs, but this matchup could go either way.
X-Factor - Jason Heyward: Heyward has been one of the most consistent hitters in the MLB throughout his 10-year career before 2020. His batting average has only fallen below .250 twice and his OBP has only fallen below .325 twice. Hayward usually bats in the back half of the lineup, but still is an above-average hitter, who people seem to forget about.
Winner - Cubs: This should be a high scoring game with Chatwood and Peralta pitching. I think the Cubs win in a game where both teams score 4 or more points. The Cubs will win because of their top to bottom balance in their lineup, which Peralta will struggle with. Chatwood will likely have his struggles too, with players like Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, and Lorenzo Cain, but the Cubs will still come out on top.
Do you think the Cubs will win this game? Let me know what you think in the comments!