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 Javier Baez
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The Cubs recent playoff success puts the team in familiar territory.

This Cubs team knows what it takes to win. The North Siders have made three straight trips to the NLCS and of course one to the World Series.

Throughout their recent run of success, much of the Cubs young core has remained the same. Of the current Cubs roster, 16 players have been with the team since at least their 2016 World Series victory. All they’ve done since that time is get more experience.

While last year’s playoff run wasn’t ultimately successful, this team knows what it’s like to play from behind in big games. The players won’t be shaken by the big stage of a potential elimination game or by a contest that heads to extra innings.

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Not only has the Cubs core of players largely stayed in place, they’ve only added more playoff experience to an already stacked roster. Almost every single player they’ve acquired in this year’s trade deadline season and waiver-trade period in August has experience on the game’s biggest stage. Cole Hamels, Brandon Kintzler, Jorge De La Rosa, and Murphy all have playoff experience under their belt.

Most notable of that group, Hamels has thrown nearly 100 innings in postseason play, posting a 3.48 ERA and 3.54 K/BB rate in those 16 playoff games. He hasn’t been in the postseason since his 2011 All-Star campaign, but his sub-1.00 ERA with the Cubs should instill some confidence in fans.

Experience isn’t the only big advantage the Cubs have in the playoffs. They’re also one of the deepest teams in the majors.