Every sports fan knows it has been over 100 years since the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. While the Cubs used to be the laughing stock of the MLB, they are well on their way to finishing the 2016 season with the best record. Every team in the league will be striving to take down the Cubs, but they look far too poised to finish the season without taking home the World Series trophy. These are the five reasons why the Cubs will go all the way this year.
Talented Offensive Lineup
The Chicago Cubs do not have a weak spot in their young and talented lineup. This lineup depth has helped the team average more than five runs a game. While anyone in the lineup can come up with a big hit at any time, the Cubs are also blessed with having two of the top hitters in the league. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant lead the team to the NLDS last year, and they have only improved their offensive skills. Runs are at a premium in the playoffs, but the Cubs have an offense capable of scoring double digit runs on any night.
Bench Depth and Flexibility
No team in Major League Baseball has the bench depth and positional flexibility of the Cubs. Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Wilson Contreas and Ben Zobrist can all play multiple positions at a very high level. If a player goes down with an injury or gets mired in a massive slump, the Cubs will have a great player ready to fill in when needed. You never know what will happen during the playoffs, but the Cubs are more prepared for the unexpected than any other team in the league.
The bullpen was considered the biggest weakness of the Chicago Cubs earlier in the season, but they turned this weakness into a strength with several key acquisitions at the trade deadline. Aroldis Chapman may be a controversial player, but nobody will deny that he is the best closer in the MLB. Mike Montgomery also gave the Cubs a left-handed specialist they desperately needed. The online sports betting sites already had the Cubs as the clear World Series favorite before the trade deadline, but these two key additions to the bullpen have only helped secure their position as the best team in the league.
Starting Rotation Depth
It is hard to lose four games in a playoff series if you’re starting pitchers are consistently shutting down the opponent’s offense. Through 108 games, no team has given up less runs than the Chicago Cubs. This can be attributed to the team’s deep starting pitching rotation. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are two of the top starters in the National League. The Cubs will fill out their playoff rotation with Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey. Thanks to this rotation depth, the Cubs should have the starting pitching advantage for every game they play this postseason.
The importance of coaching is magnified during close playoff games, and nobody strives in these tough situations more than Joe Maddon. The 2015 NL Manager of the Year is arguably the best strategic manager in the MLB. Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants is the only manager of a contending National League team that will not regularly get outsmarted by Joe Maddon. While Mike Matheny, Terry Collins, Don Mattingly, Dave Roberts and Dusty Baker are highly regarded managers, they do not have the strategic skills of Maddon or Bochy.
The Chicago Cubs simply do not have any weaknesses on their roster. In addition to having the two best hitters in the National League, they also have the best manager and starting pitcher in the sport. This unprecedented depth will lead the Cubs to a 2016 World Series title.