3 things we learned about the Cubs on their season-opening homestand

A 5-1 record, including taking two of three from the powerful Dodgers, during the team's first homestand of the year has expectations high in Wrigleyville.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Sweeping a series against the lowly Colorado Rockies should be the expectation for a team with postseason aspirations like the Chicago Cubs. But following it up by taking two of three from the clear-cut World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers certainly shouldn't be taken lightly, as Craig Counsell's club kicks off a road trip with a 5-1 record on their first homestand in the bag.

This homestand brought us a little bit of everything: from Counsell being on the other side of the Wrigley Field rain delays he once derided as manager of the Brewers to the much-anticipated debut of Shota Imanaga and a lineup loaded with quality at-bats. But here are the three things that stand out the most as Chicago closes the door on its first slate of games at the Confines.

1: The Cubs' belief in Shota Imanaga is being rewarded early on

Imanaga got the ball last Monday for the Cubs home opener - and he was magnificent. The left-hander tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out nine against the Rockies.

He followed it up with a rain-shortened effort in Sunday's series finale against Shohei Ohtani and the Dodgers, adding four more scoreless frames to his resume before a lengthy delay ended his afternoon early. Imanaga is yet to walk a batter, and he's shown an early ability to adjust his plan of attack to the challenge offered by big league hitters.

Internally, the organization is much higher on Imanaga than many talent evaluators and he's shown why in his first two starts. With Justin Steele sidelined and the Cubs rotation running short-handed as it awaits the return of not only Steele, but also Jameson Taillon, Imanaga's early success has been a huge part of the team's strong start here in April.