The Chicago Cubs have now made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, but they continue to be disrespected heading into the 2021 season. ESPN's Opening Day power rankings feature the Cubs at No. 17, but they have the talent needed to make a postseason run and be a top-12 team.
The Cubs also trail two other teams in the NL Central in the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals despite winning the division last season with a 34-26 record. Offseason moves have definitely changed this team around, but that doesn't mean they are going to fail this season.
Chicago Cubs Power Rankings
The Cubs made headlines by trading starter Yu Darvish away this offseason. However, ace Kyle Hendricks (2.88 ERA last season) is still on the team and bolsters a rotation full of proven starters like Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies.
The Cubs did rank No. 7 in the MLB last season with a 3.98 team earned run average (ERA). Yet, what really separates this Cubs team from the pack is its strong offense.
Anthony Rizzo (.342 OBP in 2020) and Javier Baez (9 Doubles in 2020) remain one of the scariest duos in the league at the plate. Plus, the team went out and signed a big bat in Joc Pederson this offseason. Pederson has hit 43 home runs over the last two seasons.
Overall, this Cubs team has the pieces in place to outperform expectations and compete for an NL Central title once again. They head into the season with +500 odds to win the division and +3500 odds to win the World Series, according to MLB odds posted on FanDuel Sportsbook.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.