Chicago Cubs: 5 reasons the Cubs are World Series favorites

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant Anthony Rizzo
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs are once again one of the favorites to win the World Series. What makes them so good? Let’s take a look.

For the fourth season in a row, the Chicago Cubs look like they’ll be playing meaningful baseball in October.

There’s still about a month left in the regular season, but the Cubs have a nice cushion in the NL Central and have boasted the best record in the National League since taking over the division lead on July 13th.

At 79-54, the Cubs’ record would indicate that they’ve been playing great baseball throughout the season, but until the last week or so, the team had never really hit their stride. In fact, they’ve faced a fair amount of adversity throughout the season, yet weathered it to put themselves in a prime position for the playoffs.

Here is just some of what this Cubs team has had to endure in 2018:

  • Yu Darvish, who was supposed to be the team’s new ace, started just eight games before being shut down for the season. Even in those eight starts, Darvish struggled, pitching to a tune of a 4.95 ERA and posting a career-worst BB/9 rate.
  • Tyler Chatwood, the other starting pitcher meant to bolster the rotation and get better after leaving Coors Field, was one of the worst starters in the league and was eventually demoted to the bullpen.
  • Brandon Morrow, the team’s closer, has been placed on the disabled list twice. Currently, he’s been out for about a month and a half with no timetable for return.
  • Kris Bryant has been hampered by injuries throughout the year. The 2016 NL MVP has had two separate DL stints and missed over 30 games due to injury.

If I had been told that in late August the Cubs would’ve had to put up with those big setbacks to impact players, I would never have guessed this team would be sitting at 25 games over .500 before heading into the season’s final month.

The Cubs have endured through many unexpected hardships this season and have still managed to look like a playoff team; but now, the Northsiders seem to have turned a corner and firmly planted themselves in the discussion of not only best National League team, but also World Series favorites. Here are five reasons the Cubs are contenders to bring another World Series back to the Windy City.