Chicago Cubs: Predicting the starting lineup we’ll see on Opening Day
Chicago Cubs: Get used to this guy cleaning things up in 2020
If you weren’t paying attention in 2019, Kyle Schwarber absolutely torched baseballs for the better part of the season. Yes, you read that correctly. While his numbers didn’t always reflect the way he was squaring up the ball, his exit velocity and BABIP numbers certainly back up the narrative. For the first couple months of the season, Schwarber was hammering balls and getting, well… unlucky.
In July and August, the results started backing up the idea that this guy was what most Cubs fans always thought he was- a slugger who could just flat out hit. After annihilating National League pitching in the second half of 2019 to the tune of a .280/.366/.631 slash line, Schwarber will be in the clean-up spot of the Cubs lineup.
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As noted earlier, he’ll be sandwiched by two passionate righties, with Contreras presumably following him in the lineup in the five hole. That means the first five spots in the Cubs lineup all stack up as intimidating and dangerous for opposing pitchers- so much so that any of them could bat third in the lineup, be All-Stars, or even MVP-type candidates. If you look at their track record, all of these guys have had stretches of dominance- just imagine and hope for them doing it all at the same time.
In the sixth spot, my projection is for the DH or catcher to occupy the spot – that catcher/DH being Victor Caratini. With the way Caratini played while healthy last season, there’s no better guy to pop in this spot. A switch-hitter who started off the 2019 campaign on fire before a broken wrist sidelined him, Caratini has the pop and patience to extend the parade of good Cubs hitters in the lineup.