Cubs Are Being Disrespected by Latest Odds to Win National League in 2020

Tristan Jung
Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs will be looking to improve on two years of disappointments.
Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs will be looking to improve on two years of disappointments. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs have had significant turnover in the years since winning the World Series in 2016, but the team is still ready to contend in the National League. With new manager David Ross and the same core of high-quality position players, the Cubs are in a good spot.

However, the Cubs' odds to win the National League at +1400, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, don't seem to reflect much confidence in this year's team, making Chicago tied for the seventh-worst odds to win the NL in 2020. The Dodgers lead the pack at +155, but there's a case to be made that the Cubs are being underestimated.

The Cubs still have Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant. That infield combination gives them a huge advantage, even if Bryant has been mentioned in trade talks of late. However, Bryant is still on the roster, and all three appear to be healthy to start 2020. All three are MVP candidates when playing well, and they comprise one of the toughest starts to a lineup in baseball.

Even though the Cubs didn't bring back Nicholas Castellanos, they have plenty of firepower elsewhere in the lineup. Kyle Schwarber had a strong season in 2019, ending the year with a career-high .871 OPS. Willson Contreras is one of the best offensive catchers in baseball. Ian Happ also showed promise last year by hitting 11 homers off the bench. He's slated to be the Opening Day center fielder.

In the rotation, the Cubs should get a stellar season from the rejuvenated Yu Darvish, who overcame his walk problems to post a 2.76 ERA over 81 2/3 innings pitched in the second half of last year. The Cubs will also be relying heavily on Kyle Hendricks to be his usual self and need good seasons from veterans like Jon Lester and Jose Quintana.

The Cubs had issues in the bullpen last year, but they will be hoping that Craig Kimbrel regresses back to the mean and is a league-average closer in 2020. They also signed Jeremy Jeffress to add depth there. Setup man Rowan Wick broke out last year and had a 2.43 ERA after getting called up in the second half.

While the Cubs didn't make many major additions in the offseason, the core of this team has shown itself to be a playoff-caliber roster for years. They were a bit unlucky last year, and if things break the right way, the National League could still be theirs for the taking.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.