Going into every baseball season, some things are fairly predictable, but usually there are a few storylines that take teams and fans by surprise. Consider what's going on with the Chicago Cubs. It's pretty much a given that Anthony Rizzo will hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. In addition, Kris Bryant can be counted on to have an OPS of around .940. So far, Anthony Rizzo has been hindered by a balky back and is hitting a not so cool .146. That will change. Kris Bryant, after apparently avoiding serious injury after being hit in the helmet with a fastball, is off to a hot start with an OPS of 1.003.

While Rizzo and Bryant form the foundation of the Cubs, early indications are that that could be changing. The base could be expanding.

Javy Baez for MVP?

Javy Baez has long been touted as someone with superstar potential, if only he could show more plate discipline. That may be happening. If you look at the NL leaders in RBIs, you'll see Baez on top with 23. His OPS sits at 1.099. He already has a WAR of 1.3. This may be his breakout season.

In the past Baez has played all over the infield, but now Cubs manager Joe Maddon seems to have settled on the idea of Javy as the Cubs' regular second baseman. Even at that, Baez still fills in at shortstop on occasion. In addition to his play in the middle infield, Baez is also a gold glove-caliber third baseman.

He's also one of the best instinctive base runners in the game. Baez has generally been toward the bottom of the Cubs' batting order, but recently Maddon has had him hitting second. Javy is giving away fewer at bats. If he can maintain his focus, it lengthens the Cubs' batting order and elevates Baez from a good supporting player to an MVP candidate.

The case for Albert Almora Jr.

Another player on the Cubs' roster who is making a strong case for more playing time is Albert Almora Jr. Almora got to hit leadoff and play center field for the Cubs last weekend and put on quite a show. Almora is easily the Cubs' best defensive center fielder and punctuated that point by making five outstanding plays.

He's also hitting .327. Hopefully that will be enough to convince Joe Maddon to give Almora a shot at regular playing time in center field.

Kyle Schwarber not just baseball's answer to Kirstie Alley

Another Cub who made news in the offseason was Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber lost 30 pounds in an effort to improve on the field and gain more quickness. While Schwarber's play in left field can still be an adventure, his offensive production is indeed up. His OBP sits at .414. That's up right at 100 points over 2017. The Cubs' offense looks to be healthy again this season. Their starting pitcher, however, has been spotty at best.

If would be nice if one of you guys win a game

Free agent signings Tyler Chatwood and Yu Darvish currently sit at a combined 0-5. If they don't pick up the pace, even an excellent Cubs offense will be stretched.