The Chicago Cubs ended up back atop the NL Central in the 2020 with a 34-26 record. That gave the Cubbies three division titles in the past five years, and five playoff berths in the past six (2019 being the outlier). Despite all this, Chicago's projected win total for the 2021 season seems to be a bit disrespectful.
Chicago Cubs Projected Win Total
According to MLB futures odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, the Cubs' projected over/under win total sits at a 78.5 (assuming they play more than 159 games). That number ranks 20th in all of baseball, and fourth in the NL Central behind every team but the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This could definitely end up being an undervaluation. The Cubs still have their core of hitters that won them the 2016 World Series intact. That includes former Rookie of the Year and MVP Kris Bryant, two-time All-Star Javier Baez, three-time All-Star Anthony Rizzo and two-time All-Star Willson Contreras. Added to that group are Joc Pederson, prospect Nico Hoerner and recent pickup Eric Sogard, giving the Cubbies a very deep lineup.
Although they are weaker in the pitching department, their staff does have a mix of experience and youth. Kyle Hendricks leads the group, but Jake Arrieta is also back alongside newcomer Zach Davies and prospects Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay. Chicago has also brought in plenty of depth behind Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen.
Everyone has been waiting for this team to trade away their assets and "fall off a cliff" for years now, but it has yet to happen. In fact, the Cubs looked more like themselves in 2020 than they had in recent years, and part of that should be credited to new manager David Ross.
For the Cubs, the disrespect is nothing new. After all, they were at their best when they were the underdog.
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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. 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.