Here's something that you haven't heard in your lifetime before a few months ago: The Chicago Cubs are the champions of the world.
Yes, the 108-year wait is finally over, and the Cubbies are set to place another flag in their outfield at Wrigley Field for the first time in eons. But getting to the top and staying at the top are two totally different things. Though Chicago is clearly the favorite to repeat as World Series champ, no team has gone back-to-back since the Yankees won three in a row from 1998 through 2000. That said, this was not only clearly the best team in baseball last year, but it was a young team too, and it doesn't seem like there's a heck of a lot of flaws in the 2017 edition of the team either.
2016 Record: 103-58
2016 Moneyline Record: +2.99 Units
2016 Over/Under Total Record: 75-79-8
Current World Series Odds: +375
Current Odds To Win NL: +180
Current Odds To Win NL Central: -550
Regular Season Win Total: 96
Maybe the biggest challenge for the Cubs this year is going to be holding together without having a ton of that veteran leadership in the clubhouse. David Ross was a huge asset for this team even though he was nothing more than Jon Lester's personal caddy, and Dexter Fowler did a lot for the franchise when the going got tough, too. Both men are gone, though it's hard to say that their on-field production can't be replicated. Aric Almirola is a tremendous defensive center fielder, and some combination of Wilson Contreras, Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber will fill out the catching duties this year.
The front of this rotation is a year older for sure, and that has to give some pause when you think about Lester now being 33, Jake Arrieta being 30 and John Lackey being 38. Kyle Hendricks is never going to be a legitimate ace, and if Lester and Arrieta fall off just a bit, that could leave this rotation in a bit of a lurch. But it's not like the Cubs don't have the assets to go get someone at the trade deadline if need be. This team won't necessarily look anything like this come the deadline, just as the bullpen took on a whole new shape last year when Aroldis Chapman joined as the closer.
Chapman, of course, is gone and back in the Bronx, but Wade Davis was a fine pickup indeed, and that should really make the rest of this pen fall back in line to once again be one of the better units in baseball.
April 2-5: at Cardinals
April 7-9: at Brewers
April 10-13: vs. Dodgers
April 14-16: vs. Pirates
April 17-19: vs. Brewers
April 21-23: at Reds
April 24-26: at Pirates
April 28-30: at Red Sox
It's almost unfair that the Cubs won't get the chance to start their season at home this year after winning the World Series, but this opening series in St. Louis is still going to be a really good one. Toss in the fact that Fowler was a "traitor" and came to the Cards this offseason ( not long after Jason Heyward did the same thing in the other direction ), and you've got the makings of what should be a really fun first three-game set at Busch Stadium.
After a trip to Milwaukee, the Cubs will finally come home for their first series against the Dodgers. This start to the season isn't easy for sure, as three of the first four teams on the docket are at least potential playoff teams in the National League.
View this years MLB game match-ups with the complete seasonal schedule for all MLB teams. Each year we will be updating the season schedule with the current information including final scores, so bookmark this page.
The 2017 Major League Baseball season is tentatively set to begin on April 2, 2017, and feature three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, which will be ESPN's first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year.
The 88th MLB All-Star Game will be hosted by the Miami Marlins and will be played at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017. It will be televised nationally on Fox.
|Major League Baseball Schedules By Month|
|MLB Betting Schedule||April||May||June||July||August||September||October|
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