NL Central: Opening Weekend takeaways

Chicago Cubs 

Craig Counsell did a lot of mixing and matching in his first weekend as the Cubs manager, but there was at least one clear winner and loser to emerge from the team’s series against the Rangers. Nico Hoerner (2B/SS, CHC) falls into the latter category. After hitting either first or second in the lineup for all but two plate appearances in 2023, he’s hit seventh in each of the team’s first two games against right-handed pitching. He did retain the leadoff role against left-handed starters. While the numbers from 2023 need to be taken in the context of a different manager, they do shed light on how much potential value Hoerner could lose with this swap. The leadoff hitters combined to earn 764 plate appearances in 2023...

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