Chicago Cubs among 2015 World Series favorites

By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor

The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series. At least that’s what the team — and its long-suffering fan base — can finally strive for after an offseason that has included the signing of a new manager, a new No. 1 ace and a veteran catcher.

Following their busy off-season, 2015 World Series odds now show the Cubs having the fourth-best chance of making the World Series. Here is a rundown of World Series odds for 2015, as of Dec. 10:

Los Angeles Dodgers — 17/2

Boston Red Sox — 9/1

Washington Nationals — 10/1

Chicago Cubs — 12/1

Detroit Tigers — 12/1

Los Angeles Angels — 12/1

Seattle Mariners — 14/1

San Francisco Giants — 14/1

St. Louis Cardinals — 16/1

Toronto Blue Jays — 16/1

Baltimore Orioles — 16/1

Kansas City Royals — 20/1

New York Yankees — 22/1

New York Mets — 22/1

Chicago White Sox — 25/1

Atlanta Braves — 28/1

Oakland Athletics — 28/1

Cleveland Indians — 33/1

Pittsburgh Pirates — 33/1

(Fun note: The Cubs won the World Series in 2015 in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II.) 

The Cubs have made a flurry of major off-season moves. First, came the firing of Manager Rick Renteria — 73-89 in one season — and the signing of new manager Joe Maddon (career .517 winning percentage over 11 seasons, including two division titles and an American League pennant in 2008 with Tampa Bay) Oct. 31. Then, came the player moves — the re-signing of left-handed starting pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada (4-4 record, 3.25 ERA, 57 SOs over 69.1 innings in 13 starts last season) to a one-year contract; the claiming off waivers of right-handed pitcher Donn Roach (1-0 record with a 4.75 ERA in 16 appearances in 2014) from San Diego; the signing of right-handed starting pitcher Jason Hammel (10-11 record, 3.47 ERA, 158 SOs over 176.1 innings pitched in 29 starts last season) to a two-year deal; the trade for Arizona catcher Miguel Montero (.243 BA, 40 Rs, 23 2Bs, 13 HRs, 72 RBIs as an All-Star last year); and the signing of free-agent left-handed starting pitcher Jon Lester (16-11 record, 2.46 ERA, 220 SOs over 219.2 innings pitched in 32 starts last season) to a six-year deal Dec. 10.

The Cubs also boast a bevy of young talent, including the following who have already made an impact at the major league level: first baseman Anthony Rizzo, 25 (.286 BA, 89 Rs, 32 HRs, 78 RBIs, 73 BBs and 116 SOs in 2014); shortstop Starlin Castro, 24 (.292 BA, 58 Rs, 33 2Bs, 14 HRs and 65 RBIs in 2014); outfielder Junior Lake, 24 (.211 BA, 30 Rs, 10 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 9 HRs, 25 RBIs, 7 SBs in 108 games in 2014); second baseman Javier Baez, 22 (.169 BA, 25 Rs, 9 HRs, 20 RBIs, 5 SBs in 52 games in 2014); right fielder Jorge Soler, 22 (.292 BA, 11 Rs, 8 2Bs, 1 3B, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs in 24 games in 2014); and starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, 25 (7-2 record, 2.46 ERA, 47 SOs in 80.1 innings pitched over 13 starts in 2014).

The makeover of the North Side club — which hasn’t won a World Series since 1908, appeared in a World Series since 1945 or made the playoffs since 2008 — technically began in 2009 with the Ricketts family acquiring a majority interest in the club from the Tribune Company. Then, came the Oct. 12, 2010, signing of Theo Epstein as president and naming of Jed Hoyer as general manager.

Epstein, as Red Sox GM, helped lead the team to a World Series championship in 2004, ending that franchise’s 86-year drought. During his nine seasons with Boston, the Red Sox won two World Series titles (in 2004 and 2007), compiled an 839-619 (.575) regular-season mark and a 34-23 (.596) postseason record. The team won the American League East in 2007 and won more than 90 games in all but two seasons under Epstein’s tenure.

Since the club last made the playoffs with a division title and a 97-64 record in 2008, the Cubs finished second in 2009 with an 83-78 record; fifth (of six) in 2010 with a 75-87 record; fifth (of six) in 2011 with a 71-91 record; fifth (of six) in 2012 with a 61-101 record; fifth (of five) in 2013 with a 66-96 record; and fifth (of five) in 2014 with a 73-89 record.

The Cubs begin their Spring Training Cactus League schedule with a pair of games Thursday, March 5, 2015. The Cubs’ regular season opener will be on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Sunday, April 5, 2015, against their rival and defending N.L. Central division champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Posted Dec. 11, 2014

One thought on “Chicago Cubs among 2015 World Series favorites

  • December 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm
    Permalink

    Hahahahahahahahahaha this is actual sports writing, my friends and I find this hilarious. A last place team has better odds than a team (white sox) that have done more than blah blah blah please tell me this is a joke.

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