2023 Chicago Cubs Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
World Series Odds: +8,000
NL Winner Odds: +7,000
NL Central Division Odds: +650
Over/Under Win Total: 77.5
As the Chicago Cubs prepare for the upcoming 2023 season, there are many questions surrounding the direction of the team. The Cubs finished last season with 74 wins and a third-place finish in the National League Central. This is a record the team would love to improve upon, due to playing in one of the “weaker” divisions in baseball. The Cubs weren’t shy this offseason, signing a number of free agents, including Dansby Swanson, Jameson Taillon, Cody Bellinger, Tucker Barnhart, Brad Boxberger, Trey Mancini, Michael Fulmer, and Eric Hosmer. These signings bring in a 2022 11.9 WAR, showing this is a significantly better team. With a top-10 farm team system in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, this team can really shake this up this year in the National League.
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Projected Starting Lineup:
C Yan Gomes .235/.260/.625 / Tucker Barnhart .221/.287/.554
1B Eric Hosmer .268/.334/.716 / Matt Mervis (Rookie)
2B Nico Hoerner .281/.327/.736
3B Nick Madrigal .249/.305/.736 / Patrick Wisdom .207/.298/.725
SS Dansby Swanson .277/.329/.776
LF Ian Happ .271/.342/.781
CF Cody Bellinger .210/.265/.654
RF Seiya Suzuki .262/.336/.770
DH Trey Mancini .239/.319/.710
All the free agents, aside from Swanson and Taillon, agreed to short-term contracts, indicating they may be quick solutions until the team's prospects are ready to contribute. With Ian Happ entering the final year of his contract, and Marcus Stroman able to opt out after the season, the team may be faced with difficult decisions down the road. The first couple of months will likely be important in determining the direction of the club, and some believe that the Cubs could compete for a National League Wild Card spot.
After last year’s all-star break, the Cubs rotation was one of the best in the National League. They finished with a 3.24 ERA, finishing 4th in all baseball during the 2nd half. A big reason to that was emerging stars in Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson, who had career highs in innings pitched and both had ERAs under 4. Coming into this season, the Cubs pitching rotation truly can be a top-10 in all of baseball, and their 2022 stats back that up.
1) Kyle Hendricks: 4-6, 16 starts, 84.1 IP, 4.80 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.75 SO/W, 86 ERA+
2) Marcus Stroman: 6-7, 25 starts, 138.2 IP, 3.50 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.31 SO/W, 117 ERA+
3) Jameson Taillon: 14-5, 32 starts, 177.1 IP, 3.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 4.72 SO/W, 100 ERA+
4) Drew Smyly: 7-12, 22 starts, 106.1 IP, 3.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.50 SO/W, 118 ERA+
5) Justin Steele: 4-7, 24 starts, 119 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 2.52 SO/W, 129 ERA+
6) Keegan Thompson: 10-5, 17 starts, 115 IP, 3.76 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.51 SO/W, 109 ERA+
I think a big X-Factor this season will be which Marcus Stroman we get in 2023. Stroman says “we’re ready to win now,” indicating the RHP is ready to win and contend all season long. Stroman appeared in 25 games last season for the Cubs, finishing with a 6-7 record and a 3.50 ERA. His k/per inning was down, recording only 119 strike outs in 138 innings pitched. If he can stay healthy this year, and find that punch out pitch he use to have in his Blue Jays era, Stroman can really help this team stack up wins when it counts. I’m betting on a big year from Marcus,
The Chicago Cubs have not won more than 74 games in a season since 2019. With all the offseason moves, an excellent defense and new veteran leadership, I think the Cubs are a playoff team. In saying that, I believe they are in line for a 77–82-win season, which puts me at the OVER for their 77.5 over/under win total marker.
Overall, the Cubs are entering the 2023 season with a lot of uncertainty but also a lot of potential. The front office seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach, keeping the team competitive while also developing their top tier prospects. The success of the season will depend on how well the new additions perform and how quickly the prospects can develop. If things go well, the Cubs could surprise many teams in the NL and compete for a Division Title or a Wild Card spot. However, if things go poorly, they may be sellers at the trade deadline. It should be an interesting and exciting season for Cubs fans, and it will be exciting to see how it all plays out, baseball’s almost back!
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