After a relatively disappointing win total during the regular season, a pre-World Series exit in October, and several important, exiting free agents, the Cubs clearly have their work cut out for them this offseason. And, apparently, the oddsmakers have taken notice.
Indeed, by not one, but two different books, the Cubs’ odds of returning and winning the World Series next season are quite far from the top. First, the odds:
At ESPN, Ed Salmons, a Westgate manager, discusses the odds for next year’s World Series and why the Los Angeles Dodgers (5-1) take the top spot: “Deepest team in baseball with a ton of money and minor league prospects. Will be great for years to come,” Salmons said. Fair enough. The Dodgers are a great, young team which does have plenty of money to spend. And while the Cubs could basically match them on each of those first two counts, they certainly don’t have the remaining prospect cache of the Dodgers.
But to be clear, the Cubs aren’t second to the Dodgers.
Behind Los Angeles, according to Westgate, are the Indians (6-1), Astros (6-1), Nationals (7-1), and Yankees (8-1). It’s only after all five of those teams do we come to the Cubs … who are tied with the Red Sox at 10-1. Wow. Honestly, that feels like a fine bet, given the middling competition in the NL Central (on paper).
And although the odds are actually lower at My Top Sports Book, the Cubs 14-1 mark actually represents the third highest in baseball – behind just the Astros (15/2) and Dodgers (13/2). The Indians (15/1), Yankees (16/1), and Red Sox (17/1) follow close behind. The Nationals (18/1) are probably a bit too low, but what do I know.
At My Top Sports book, author Alexander P. explains the Cubs relatively better odds: “It took Chicago longer than expected to shake off their 2016 championship hangover, but once they did, they were one of baseball’s best teams. The Cubbies went 49-25 following the All-Star break and captured their second consecutive Central Division title. They’ll need to address the free agency of pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis this winter, but expect them to be back in the thick of things in 2018.”
I agree on both accounts. And if the Cubs do make a big trade or two heading into next season, you can probably expect those odds to increase even further, especially given that Cubs fans typically push the team’s betting odds to unreasonable levels.
So there you have it, Cubs fans, get out your pocketbooks and bet on the Cubs! (Or save your money for like food and stuff … either way.)