Chicago Cubs

Cubs Opening Day 2024: What to know about season debut vs. Rangers

Info on how new manager Craig Counsell has set up the Cubs for the 2024 MLB season debut

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The Cubs begin their 2024 regular season on Thursday in a prime time matchup against the defending World Series champion Rangers. Coming off last year’s surprising 83-79 finish and with new manager Craig Counsell leading the group, expectations are high on the North Side.

Could the team earn a postseason bid for the first time since 2020? How about win a playoff series for the first time since 2017? Maybe, just maybe, could the Cubs add another World Series trophy to their collection?

Those are spring dreams. As any ball player or skipper will tell you, the Cubs gotta take it one day at a time, and that starts now.

Here are some important things to know to get ready for the game.


Justin Steele will take the bump for the Cubs for his first Opening day start. Steele is coming off a spectacular season in 2023 when he put up a 3.06 ERA with a 1.171 WHIP, and a sterling 176 strikeouts with only 36 walks in 173.1 innings. For his efforts, Steele was named an All-Star for the first time in his career and finished fifth in Cy Young voting.

The Rangers will trot out veteran Nathan Eovaldi, who’s about to start his 13th season in MLB. Eovaldi was also an All-Star last year, his first with the Rangers. He played a pivotal role in the Rangers’ World Series run, as he went 5-0 throughout the postseason with a 2.95 ERA in six starts.


The Cubs will start the year with the standard 13 pitchers and 13 position players. Here’s the breakdown

Starting pitchers: Javier Assad, Kyle Hendricks, Shota Imanaga, Justin Steele, Jordan Wicks Relievers: Yency Almonte, Adbert Alzolay, Jose Cuas, Mark Leiter Jr., Luke Little, Julian Merryweather, Hector Neris, Drew Smyly

Catchers: Miguel Amaya, Yan Gomes

Infielders: Michael Busch, Garrett Cooper, Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, Miles Mastrobuoni, Christopher Morel, Dansby Swanson

Outfielders: Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, Mike Tauchman

Injured list: Caleb Kilian, Jameson Taillon, Patrick Wisdom


The Cubs are trying to start the season with a win for the third year in a row. They beat the Brewers 5-4 on Opening Day in 2022 and took them down again 4-0 in 2023. Those early victories didn’t portend bigger successes however. Last year the Cubs finished nine games behind the Brewers in the division and one game behind the Diamondbacks and Marlins for a Wild Card spot. In 2022, they ended the year with a 74-88 record which put them 19 games out behind the N.L. Central champion Cardinals and 13 games out of a Wild Card berth.


The Cubs play at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday. The game will live stream on Fubo and will air on ESPN. For those looking to listen in, it will also air on 670 The Score.

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