2020 Chicago Cubs Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
The Chicago Cubs have gone from lovable losers to just plain losers.
And Cubs fans and the organization are getting a taste of the downside of success: it’s much harder to have it and then lose it than to never have it at all.
In 2016, Joe Maddon was the King of Chicago and The Man That Broke The Curse, leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in more than 100 years. Three years later, he was cut loose as the scapegoat for a team that has not lived up to the hype since finally getting that long-awaited title.
The Cubs were a mess last year, going just 84-78 and never really threatening in the National League. This is a bit of a flawed roster, though, and some of the contracts doled out by the front office have inflated expectations for a team that looks much better on paper than it does in the field.
Chicago Cubs 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Kris Bryant – 3B
2. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
3. Javier Baez – SS
4. Kyle Schwarber – OF
5. Wilson Contreras – C
6. Jason Heyward – OF
7. Jason Kipnis – 2B
8. Ian Happ – OF
The construction of this lineup is one first problems that I have with this team. Kris Bryant should not be leading off. And Kyle Schwarber should not be hitting cleanup. I don’t care what the metrics say, and I don’t care about Bryant’s on-base percentage. He shouldn’t be leading off.
I would roll the dice with Javier Baez in the leadoff spot. Or perhaps go with either Ian Happ or the newly acquired Kipnis, with Baez hitting second. Rizzo – who has averaged .283 and 30 home runs over the past six years – should be in the No. 3 slot with Bryant providing protection from the cleanup slot.
Schwarber, who had 38 home runs last year and is kind of an all-or-nothing guy, is kind of the quintessential modern day No. 5 hitter. He has averaged more than 30 home runs the past three seasons. But he’s only a .235 lifetime hitter and he strikes out a ton.
It seems like Jason Heyward has been around forever even though he is just 30 years old. I think that Heyward should be hitting eighth at this point. He is what he is; a career .260 hitter with little power that is more valuable in the field than he is at the plate.
Wilson Contreras is one of the best hitting catchers in the league. And if Kipnis can stay healthy, I think he’ll bring some much-needed attitude to this group. Regardless, there is no reason that the Cubs can’t improve upon last year’s pretty solid rankings (No. 10 scoring, No. 6 home runs, No. 13 team batting).
Chicago Cubs 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Yu Darvish (R)
2. Jon Lester (L)
3. Kyle Hendricks (R)
4. Jose Quintana (L)
5. Tyler Chatwood (R)
Closer: Craig Kimbrel (R)
On paper, the Cubs have a rotation that should lineup with any in baseball. And as a team, the Cubs had a rock solid 4.10 ERA, good enough for No. 7 in baseball.
The reality is a lot more disappointing. Yu Darvish just can’t stay healthy and has been a massive bust since his acquisition in 2018. He allowed a league-high 33 home runs last year but struck out 229 guys and still showed that he has solid stuff. He’s an enigma, and that’s not a word you want used to describe your ace.
Jon Lester just looks worn out. He’s logged around 2,700 career innings (including the postseason) and at this point projects as a No. 4 starter that could dial things up in a big spot.
Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood might as well be the same guy. They both have appealing stuff and can go out and have some dominant starts. But then other times, they can’t get out of their own way. Hendricks had just a 3.46 ERA last year but went just 11-10. Chatwood lowered his ERA by nearly two runs – and went 5-3.
Conversely, Quintana has seen his performance get worse every season he’s been in Wrigley – but his record keeps getting better. At this point, he’s right there with Hendricks and Chatwood in that you just don’t know what you are going to get every fifth day. And that erratic vein up and down the staff is a big part of the problem with this team as a whole.
Chicago Cubs Odds To Win The World Series
The Chicago Cubs are one of the most public teams in MLB betting and therefore their odds to win the World Series are always a bit inflated. It is interesting, then, that they are posted at 25-to-1 to win the title here. That means their actual odds are probably closer to 35-to-1. The Cubs are 9-to-1 to win the National League and 2.5-to-1 to win the N.L. Central.
Chicago Cubs 2020 Predictions
I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts on July 1. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB’s plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
I don’t know what didn’t click for the Cubs last year. Maybe it was Maddon, and maybe he did need to go in order for this team to move forward. All I know is that there is way too much talent on this team for them to be a non-factor in the playoff race. The Cubs finished six wins below their Pythagorean Win Total, which is a pretty eye-opening underachievement.
Pitching is an issue for this team, though. They lack a true front-line ace, and they have too many guys that are erratic and unreliable taking the ball every fifth day. I don’t know where the help will come from. Or maybe the stars will align and the “good” version of their five starters will all show up, like planets aligning. If that happens, the staff is certainly capable of getting this team back to the postseason. And if the Cubs don’t make it there, I think it will be the result of a mound meltdown.
The lineup has all the pieces to be the best in baseball. Not “one of the best”. They kind of already are one of the best. But if things click into place for the Cubs, they could be one of the two or three lineups that are capable of carrying a weaker pitching staff to the pennant.
The National League is a bear. The Senior Circuit is stacked with capable teams. And while I may be overly optimistic here, I think that the Cubs can bounce back from last year’s effort and win the Central. I think Milwaukee is a bit weaker, Cincinnati still isn’t there yet, and the Cardinals look like paper tigers to me. I’ll call for a Cubs rebound season.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc’s Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo’s MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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