Chicago Cubs: Predicting the starting lineup we’ll see on Opening Day

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 07: (L-R) Albert Almora Jr #5, Javier Baez #9, s #12 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs wait for Kris Bryant #17 to cross the plate after he hit the game-winning three run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 07, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 07: (L-R) Albert Almora Jr #5, Javier Baez #9, s #12 and Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs wait for Kris Bryant #17 to cross the plate after he hit the game-winning three run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 07, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Marlins 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The new top of the order for the North Siders

Much has been made of the failures of any and all comers occupying the leadoff spot in the Cubs lineup since Dexter Fowler left for St. Louis. Basically none of the talk was in the wrong. The leadoff spot has been atrocious for the Cubs over the past three seasons despite a ton of different guys trying their hand for former skipper, Joe Maddon.

Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo, as well as others all tried their hand at least once or twice. Other than Rizzo, no one really had any success there, despite success in other places in the batting order. It seems a new curse formed over the leadoff spot as soon as the billy goat and Bartman curses were lifted after 2016.

In 2020, Ross has already come out and said he likes the idea of putting Kris Bryant there to set the table, with Bryzzo buddy Rizzo right behind him in the two-hole. While this move is a bit unorthodox, the Cubs still don’t have a prototypical leadoff guy, and no sign of one coming in the near future.

The first-year skipper figures you put the guy with the best OBP (career .385) in the top spot and let the chips fall where they may. Stack another great OBP (career .373 and .405 last season) guy right behind him, and you’ve put a ton of pressure on the other pitcher to start the game. To paraphrase from the Fowler days, if they go, the Cubs (we) will go.