Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Five Cubs Games That Could Set the Tone Early on in the Season

A common saying is that a division cannot be won in the first month, but it certainly can be lost. Even though there is a strong emphasis on the last two weeks of the season, the games in the standings count just as much in April as they do in September. With some uncertainty surrounding the ballclub, some games will matter more for the Wrigley Nine. Therefore, let’s look at five key games in April that could help determine the path for the Chicago Cubs in 2024.

Five Games That Could Set the Tone

Thursday, March 28, at Texas

The Cubs open the season against the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers. This first game will likely be when their banner is raised and rings are distributed. Although this can sometimes play against the home team as their focus is elsewhere, it will be a good test at the beginning of the season. This three-game set can be a good barometer for what type of team the Cubs could be in 2024.

Saturday, April 6 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

On the first homestand, the Cubs will see how they rate against the presumptive World Series favorite. However, things could be in the Cubs’ favor. If you do not count the two-game set in South Korea to open the season, it will be the first true road series for the Dodgers. Given the weather in Chicago in April, it could be a big difference from a typical Spring day in sunny Southern California.

Also, if the pitching rotation holds as projected, the Cubs will face the 3-4-5 starters for the Dodgers. If this is the case, the Cubs will most likely miss two of the Dodgers’ new acquisitions, Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Overall, facing the best team on paper in baseball is the best scenario.

Wednesday, April 17 at Arizona

This is the last game of a nine-game West Coast road trip, the longest the team will see all season. The road trip will include three games against San Diego and Seattle before travelling to Phoenix. Ending this trip against the defending National League champions isn’t ideal, but if they can go 5-4 or better, it will give them confidence for the rest of the month, as 7 of the last 12 in April will be at home. Arizona will still be living off of the success from 2023, and don’t forget; they had the spot the Cubs could have had in the playoffs if not for their dismal final month. Maybe some extra motivation?

Thursday, April 25 vs. Houston

The final game of the homestand against the Marlins and Astros ends a stretch of eight series where five of the teams they will play participated in last year’s playoffs, including both participants in the World Series. The Cubs’ lone series against the Astros is at home in April, the weather could be better. Once again, this could work to the Cubs’ advantage to make their Texas counterparts uncomfortable. The Astros have World Series expectations, so a series win would show the Cubs are for real.

Tuesday, April 30, at New York Mets

The Cubs close out the month of April at another team looking for a significant turnaround in 2024, the Mets. After dumping much of their $300 million payroll late last season, the Mets are looking for a rebound. This lineup still includes All-Stars such as Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte. Given the challenging opening month schedule, if the Cubs can finish above .500, it could signal good times on the northside during the later summer months.

Main Photo: © Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message