There were many “tough guys” reduced to tears on that cold November night following Game 7. Grandparents and grandchildren celebrated together, die hards celebrated their life-long fandom with a champagne shower and chug on the cool autumn grass of their friend’s front lawn (that one was me), and Wrigleyville was transformed into a mosh pit unlike anything seen in the city of Chicago.
Now that the tears are all dried up, the champagne is stale and smells really weird (I still haven’t washed the Cubs hat I was wearing that night), and the mess at Clark and Addison has long since been cleaned up by city workers, it’s time to look ahead to the 2017 season.
2017 World Series odds
Winning the World Series is really difficult (I think the Cubbies have proven that over the last 100-plus years) but, by all accounts, this North Side squad is built to last for many years. Will they win another championship in 2017 after starving their loyal fans for so many years? It’s impossible to say for sure (even that Sports Almanac from Back To The Future 2 couldn’t predict World Series winners) but according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas they are the favorites to win it again.
The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has the Cubs listed as 7/2 favorites to win their second straight World Series title. It’s tough to argue with the logic of putting the Cubbies at the top of the pack for 2017: they are a very public team (people traditionally bet on the North Siders more than any other major league club), they are the defending champions, and most people believe they will be better than last season with their youth having another year of experience under their belts and a healthy Kyle Schwarber being added to their regular season lineup.
Outside of the Cubs, the closest contenders according to the Las Vegas oddsmakers are the Cleveland Indians (5/1), the Boston Red Sox (7/1), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (8/1).
Season win total
A regular season win total is a number created by oddsmakers where sports bettors can place an Over or Under wager on the number of wins a team will end up with at the end of the schedule. For the 2017 MLB season, the Superbook has the Cubs listed at 96 wins.
Many Cubs fans will look at this and instantly claim an “easy Over”. After all, they won 103 games last season and many experts believe they will be even better in 2017. While 96 does seem a bit low, oddsmakers have to leave some wiggle room. The baseball calendar is a long grind and anything can happen over 162 games.
The Cubs went relatively unbitten by the injury bug last year and the chances of that being the case again in 2017 are extremely slim. Injuries are impossible to predict but oddsmakers have to allow for the unpredictable in case the unthinkable happens (e.g. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are forced to miss significant time during the summer).
Player prop odds
The Chicago Cubs are a team in the true sense of the word. While individual awards certainly look good on a player’s resume (and really cool on the mantle over the fireplace), Joe Maddon has this group laser focussed on winning baseball games. But along with winning comes recognition for one’s achievements, so here how oddsmakers see the Cubs stacking up when it comes to National League MVP voting and Nation League Cy Young voting in 2017.
Last year’s NL MVP, Kris Bryant, leads the pack as the 5/2 favorite to take home the award once again. Bryant is one of three Cubs’ players to make the list at the Superbook with Anthony Rizzo (12/1) and Schwarber (40/1) also earning consideration. Other notable players include Nolan Arenado (4/1), Bryce Harper (4/1), Corey Seager (6/1), Yoenis Cespedes (10/1), and Giancarlo Stanton (10/1).
In the NL Cy Young odds, Lester sits in a group with two other starting pitchers (Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner) as the third favorites at 8/1. If Clayton Kershaw is healthy he will always be the top name on this list, and he is again this season at 8/5, followed by Max Scherzer at 5/1. Other Cubs hurlers to make the list are Arrieta (12/1), Kyle Hendricks (15/1), and John Lackey (100/1).
Other betting options
The options above are the main betting choices on the Chicago Cubs for the upcoming season but, much like a cocky Javier Baez moment, there is always room for more.
A quick scan of online sportsbook SportsInteraction sees the Cubs available as a staggering 1/5 favorite to win the National League Central division and three Cubs players listed in the race to lead Major League Baseball in home runs: Bryant (10/1), Schwarber (18/1), and Rizzo (25/1).
At online sportsbook Bookmaker.eu you can also bet on Over/Under individual home run totals with Rizzo listed at 31.5, Bryant at 35.5, and Schwarber at 25. And, not to be outdone, Over/Under individual pitcher wins with Arrieta listed at 15.5 and Lester at 15.