Chicago Cubs heading into unique schedule stretch beginning Friday
By Jason Klaer
Following two-consecutive N.L. Central opponents to begin 2023, the Chicago Cubs return to the Friendly Confines to begin one of the more quirky portions of this season. Beginning Friday afternoon versus the Texas Rangers, the Cubs play teams from the A.L. or N.L. West for the next six series.
Below is an interpretation of what to expect over the coming weeks. As we know, the 2023 MLB schedule was significantly altered. Not only were divisional games decreased; Interleague Play skyrocketed from 20 games to 46 beginning in 2023. Pitching matchups are provided for this weekend's set with Texas. Due to the trials and tribulations (aka rotations tend to change a lot), a team faces throughout a series, let alone a season, pitching matchups for the following series won't be mentioned.
Texas Rangers, April 7-9
The new-look, highfalutin Texas Rangers visit Wrigley Field for a weekend series. All time, the Cubs are 5-4 against Texas at home. This is the Rangers' first visit to the Northside since 2016. New manager, bolstered rotation, and certainly an exponentially increased payroll, everything about the 2023 Rangers is different from seven years ago. As for Chicago; oh what a difference a scintilla of a century makes. At this point, the Cubs continue to plug and play at certain positions while mulling the actual direction the franchise is heading. Nonetheless, sometimes these early-season, idle matchups manifest into edge-of-your-seat, extra-inning anarchy. Hey, there may even be a perfect game, no-hitter, etc.
Friday, April 7 @ 1:20 p.m. CST
Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) vs. Marcus Stroman (1-0)
Saturday, April 8 @ 3:05 p.m. CST
Martín Pérez (1-0) vs. Justin Steele (0-0)
Sunday, April 9 @ 1:20 p.m. CST
Jon Gray (0-1) vs. Jameson Taillon (0-1)