Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/30/23): Hoerner Leads Off, Mastrobuoni in RF, Stroman Starting Season Opener

Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air as the 2023 season gets underway Thursday afternoon. The Brewers are in town for the first of a reduced number of matchups in light of MLB’s new balanced schedule, so these early tilts take on a little more weight.

That’s why it’s even more important for second baseman Nico Hoerner to get things started as the leadoff hitter. Dansby Swanson is at short, Ian Happ is in left, and Cody Bellinger cleans up in center. Trey Mancini and a the DH, Yan Gomes handles the catching duties, Eric Hosmer is at first, and Patrick Wisdom bats eighth at third base. Miles Mastrobuoni is the right fielder batting last.

Marcus Stroman gets the Opening Day start somewhat by default, as the argument could really be made for any of four Cubs starters. If Stroman’s sanker is sankin’ and he’s manipulating the pitch clock to his advantage, he’ll be able to lean on an improved defense to work efficiently in this one.

Brewers starter Corbin Burnes operates with a different kind of efficiency, missing bats at a high rate while limiting walks. His strikeouts were down last season from his Cy Young campaign, however, and he allowed more walks and homers to give his team evidence for why he should not be paid as much as he wanted.

While Burnes isn’t going to tank either the Brewers or his own career, you do have to wonder about the long-term viability of a relationship that was clearly damaged by the arbitration process. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the big righty moved just like Josh Hader was shipped off last year.

First pitch from Wrigley Field is at 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.

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