A season full of intrigue finally began for the 2015 Cubs, and David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth are getting you ready for what's next with this week's Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

After the Cubs finish up their three-game series in Colorado they'll return home for a six-game home stand against two teams expected to contend for the National League crown this season. After facing the always difficult Cardinals and the red-hot Rockies, the Cubs begin a three-game set with the division rival Reds on Monday, followed by three more games with the winners of the offseason in the San Diego Padres.

And against both groups, as Todd Hollandsworth notes, the Cubs pitching will need to be ready for a pair of potent lineups. The Reds, touting Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, sit atop the National League Central standings as of Saturday night.

"They've got experience and they've got veterans. They've got a lineup to die for, they added Marlon Byrd, Billy Hamilton's off and running," Hollandsworth said. "My goodness gracious, he's on pace to break the all-time stolen bases record in a season. They've got a lot of things going right now."

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The bats won't stop coming when Cincinnati leaves town, as a completely re-tooled Padres lineup will be waiting to produce some runs at the Friendly Confines. This offseason alone the Padres added Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton, Justin Upton, as well as pitchers James Shields and Craig Kimbrel, making them a difficult task later this week.

 

"This is a team that's looking to contend. If there's one team in all of baseball, outside of our Chicago teams, that was building for 2015 like, 'it's got to happen, playoffs or bust,' it's the San Diego Padres, no doubt about it," Hollandsworth said. "They expect to contend, they're ready to contend, they want to be up there with the Dodgers, they want to be viewed that way. This team is ready."

See what else they had to say in the video above.