Whenever the Chicago Cubs get remotely good, World Series talks surface. This was seen in the 2008 season, the last time the Cubs made it to the post-season. With Derek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, and Aramis Ramirez in your lineup, how can you not think your team is going to win it all? But the Cubs blew it in the NL Divisional series to the Los Angeles Dodgers sending them back to the drawing boards.
Why cubs can win world series
5 reasons the Cubs can win the World Series
1. Pitching staff is equipped to make late season run
The Chicago Cubs have done an excellent job of building a pitching staff around one of the best pitchers in the game in Jon Lester. Following the ace are Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, and Travis Wood in the rotation. Then when you add Jason Motte and Pedro Strop in the middle innings, and then finally bringing in Hector Rondon for the save, what’s not to like about this pitching staff?
In the MLB, it’s all about staying at about .500 throughout the season until the middle of July. If you can stay healthy until then and your pitchers can produce quality starts for a month to a month and a half, you should be good to go for the playoffs.
The Cubs currently have the 12th best ERA with their combined staff in the MLB. With Jake Arrieta’s 2.84 ERA (33rd in the MLB) behind Lester as the ace, there is no reason to think this one-two punch won’t knock out consistent wins for the Cubs during the final stretch of the season.
The Cubs pitching staff is structured in a way that will make it successful late in the season. General manager Theo Epstein purposefully did this, and it could prove to help them make the playoffs in July and September.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
2. Young hitters are solid hitters
The Cubs’ young hitters have been the talk of the town at Wrigley Field and the Cubs are far from finished from bringing up all the guys developing in their farm system who have major league potential. This season, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant have been producing in a big way for the Cubs despite being so young. If these three guys can continue to develop, by the time the playoffs rolls around they might be the keys to the Cubs’ success.
Addison Russell is the most recent addition to the Cubs’ roster. In his first 11 games, he has struggled a bit but we have seen some good things. His seven RBIs and two home runs prove that he can hit for power and come through when it counts as well. The big worrisome number for Russell has been in the strike out category. If he can limit his strikeouts (20 so far) and continue raising his batting average he will be a solid no. 2 hitter for the Cubs before the playoffs start.
Jorge Soler has been up since the beginning of the year and hasn’t given the Cubs a reason to send him back down. He has has been a strong presence in their heart of their order hitting .266, with a .333 OBP, and adding nine RBIs. Like Russell, if Soler can continue to improve and make strides with his swing, there is no reason to think he can’t become the hitter he is capable of by the time the playoffs swing around.
The real talk of the town in Chicago is the former no. 1 prospect in baseball in Kris Bryant. There hasn’t been more hype surrounding a Cubs hitter since Sammy Sosa. Kris Bryant is the real deal. In just 16 short games with the Cubs, Bryant has hit .291, has a .458 OBP, and has 11 RBIs. Not bad for someone who is only 23 years old. Bryant shows a rare patience at the plate. Something that isn’t typically seen in rookie hitters. If he can continue doing what he’s doing, and add a few home runs here and there, the hype surrounding him won’t leave fans disappointed.
These three guys will be key to any success the Cubs have this season. As their careers progress, the Cubs fate this season will live and die with their progression as hitters. Obviously there is no pressure, because they are just rookies. But if they can prove to be everything they are hyped up to be, the Cubs definitely have a chance at winning the World Series this year.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
3. Coach who can put them there
The first of many off season acquisitions for the Chicago Cubs came way back in November when they fired Rick Renteria and hired Joe Maddon. The former Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager seemed like a great fit for the Cubs at the time, he even bought everyone at his press conference following his hiring a beer and a shot.
In all seriousness, Joe Maddon was exactly the manager that Wrigley field needs. From Dusty Baker to Lou Piniella, no one could get the job done for the Cubs and win that first World Series since 1908. Dusty Baker wasn’t stern enough and made some questionable decisions in critical games. Lou Piniella had a bit too much fire under his belt to motivate players. Maddon brings a simple, yet genius touch to the art of managing a ball club.
It is evident in the way the Chicago Cubs take the field that they have already bought into Joe Maddon. Every one loves him. The players, fans, and the organization all think Joe Maddon is their guy. There is no reason to think he won’t get the job done and finally win that World Series.
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
4. Jon Lester will be their go-to-guy
In the post season, it is critical to find that starting pitcher who will be Mr. Clutch for you in a seven game series. The San Francisco Giants had Madison Bumgarner last year. Their ace won two games, not allowing any runs and only giving up seven hits. He also came in during Game 7 to get the save to seal the 2014 World Series victory. Some think that Bumgarner was the main reason the Giants came out on top last year.
The point is that an ace who can carry two games in a seven game series makes it that much easier for his team. Jon Lester is this type of ace. In the 2013 World Series, when Lester was with the Boston Red Sox, he pitched two nearly flawless games making it nearly impossible for the St. Louis Cardinals to come out on top.
For the Cubs, once he settles down and comes into his own, he will be invincible. Having this type of pitcher in the playoffs is 100% necessary. It turns out, Theo Epstein knew what he was doing when he signed the pitcher he saw throw when he was with the Boston Red Sox. Lester is the real deal. And he is going to be one of the main catalysts if the Cubs win a World Series.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Since then, the Cubs have been just awful. They barely missed the playoffs in 2009, and after that they haven't been above .500 until this year. So when people say the Cubs have a chance at making it to the World Series this year, you should proceed with caution.
However, there is something happening in Chicago this year that is getting Cubs fans excited. With the huge off season acquisition of Jon Lester, as well as signing head coach Joe Maddon on, the Cubs seemed to be moving in the right direction. Now all they needed was a few good hitters.
Throughout the first month, we have seen three huge prospects move up from the farm system and enter the Cubs lineup by storm. Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant are making waves in the MLB this year and there is no reason people can't get excited about it.
Do the Cubs really have enough to win a World Series though? Maybe.
They certainly have all the right pieces to be good in the future. Some might think that winning this year might be a little bit overambitious. But if you look at what the Cubs have done this year thus far, there is no reason why anyone should count them out. The Cubs young hitters are cranking out RBIs left and right, Lester is finding his barrings, and Joe Maddon is making all the right moves in the clubhouse. So once again, proceed with caution Cubs fans. But this year could be your year.