Cubs' Odds to Win World Series Improve Following Craig Kimbrel Signing

By Leo Abbe-Schneider
World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox - Game One
World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox - Game One / Elsa

Cover Photo: Getty Images

It took longer than a third of the MLB season, but one of the two star free-agent pitchers has finally signed with a team. The Chicago Cubs have signed closer Craig Kimbrel, with the hopes of bolstering their bullpen for a run in October.

It only took a little while for this signing to impact the Cubs' odds to win the 2019 World Series. As of June 5, Chicago was +2100 to win it all, but the Cubs are now +1900 to win the World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

The other contenders did not see their chances of winning the World Series decrease, however, as the Dodgers (+310), Astros (+330) and Yankees (+600) still have the best odds to win the 2019 World Series.

The Cubs' boost in World Series odds makes sense, considering that their bullpen has been arguably their biggest weakness this season. So far, they have used a closer-by-committee approach that's produced less-than-ideal results.

Chicago has blown 12 saves this season, which is tied for the second-worst mark in MLB, and the Cubs have only recorded 13 saves as a team, which is tied for No. 21 in MLB.

The Cubs are hoping Kimbrel and his career 1.91 ERA can provide stability out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season, but he could be most valuable during the playoffs. The 31-year-old right-hander has ample postseason experience, including a World Series ring from last season with the Boston Red Sox.

Kimbrel has 25 strikeouts in 20 2/3 career postseason innings pitched, which suggests he could make a significant impact for the Cubs should they make the postseason.

The Cubs' 34-26 start has them a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the lead in the AL Central. Chicago's World Series odds should continue to improve if Kimbrel can pitch at the level he has up to this point in his career.

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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. 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.