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The early 2019 schedule could work to the Cubs’ advantage

... while the Brewers and Cardinals beat up on each other.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs are undefeated in 2019! Hooray!

All right, so that’s just 1-0. The Brewers and Reds are also 1-0 after Opening Day, while the Cardinals and Pirates lost their first games of 2019.

And it’s that Cardinals/Brewers matchup I want to look at here. Including the Opening Day matchup at Miller Park, the Brewers will play 10 of their first 26 games against the Cardinals. For St. Louis, it’s 10 of their first 24 against the Brewers. Even more bizarrely, after that those two teams will not play each other for almost four months — their next matchup after April 24 in St. Louis is August 19 in Milwaukee. That’s almost three weeks after the now-single trade deadline. And then, they’ll play their remaining nine contests over a four-week period concluding September 15.

The Cubs have had weird schedules before, but nothing quite that weird against a divisional rival. Obviously, the best-case scenario for the Cubs would be for the Brewers and Cardinals to split those 10 games in March and April while the Cubs are playing teams like the Rangers and Marlins.

The Cubs and Brewers have common opponents in April. Both will host the Angels, and the Brewers will play their entire season series against the Dodgers, all seven games, between April 12 and 21. The Cardinals will host the Dodgers as well in April, along with the Mets.

Meanwhile, the only series the Cubs will play against either of their close division rivals is next weekend, three games against the Brewers at Miller Park. They won’t face the Cardinals until a three-game set at Wrigley Field beginning May 3.

It’s only one game, but the Cubs got off to a nice start with their 12-4 win over the Rangers Thursday afternoon in Arlington. And so the Cubs can hope that the Brewers and Cardinals can split with each other while they get through an April schedule that’s about middling in difficulty — and hopefully, without the weather issues that postponed so many games last April.