There is a lot to like about the Chicago Cubs Opening Day lineup

The Chicago Cubs Opening Day lineup finally has the semblance of a core.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Opening day is here with the Chicago Cubs starting their season against the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

The Cubs are entering a 2024 season where the expectation is that the team will win the National League Central.

While Craig Counsell will certainly play an important factor in the Cubs' outperforming their current projections, the team will be reliant on their starting lineup providing offensive consistency throughout the entire season.

For his first game, Counsell has a starting lineup that is very different from what we last saw in 2023.

The Chicago Cubs Opening Day starting lineup is filled with potential.

The biggest issue that many Cubs fans have with the starting lineup is the lack of power. Despite veteran power hitter JD Martinez remaining on the free agent market for most of the off-season, the Cubs have remained consistent in their desire to use the designated hitter's spot in the lineup on a rotation of players.

It is interesting that the Cubs decided to have Christopher Morel open the season as the team's designated hitter. Morel spent most of Spring Training in the lineup as the team's third baseman. With Nick Madrigal recovering from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for most of the Cactus League, there is some surprise to see him in the lineup and playing third base.

The hope is that Garrett Cooper gets some regular time as the team's designated hitter. Cooper was an All-Star with the Miami Marlins in 2022 and proved during Spring Training this year with the Cubs that he has pop left in the bat. When not serving as the team's designated hitter, Cooper will likely platoon at first base with Michael Busch.

To that end, Busch's progress will be an important aspect of whether or not the Cubs' lineup will be successful in 2024. Busch, a former top prospect of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, finally has the opportunity to play full-time at the Major League level. The Cubs believe Busch has the contact profile and power to be the long-term answer at the first base position. If that question is indeed answered, the Cubs' lineup will be in a good spot.

There certainly is some hope trafficking with the Cubs lineup in 2024 but it's not as hard of an exercise as it was 10 years ago when the team had this dreadful starting lineup.

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