It is, of course, much too early in the season to make definitive statements about how a team’s season will pan out from now until the Fall. However, with most MLB teams now having played around 20 of 162 games (piece written in April) it is coming to the point where hot and cold starts are more than just a fluke.
The signs have been positive for the Cubs in the last couple of days, with the 2-1 series win highlighted by the 16 runs scored in game 1.
However, there have also been some worrying signs, not least the fact that the Cubs have conceded five or more runs in every game in the last four series, with the only exception being a 4-0 loss to the Braves.
This week is essential for Cubs to make up lost ground
Next up for the Cubs is a tough pair of inter-league games vs. Cleveland, followed by a three-game series against San Francisco It is the latter that will be the most pressing for the Cubs to come away with, at the very least, a couple of wins on the board.
Although they beat Milwaukee 3-1 in the first series meeting of the season, the Brewers have been excellent before and after.
The problem the Cubs face is that some teams in the National League have started very well, and they certainly weren’t expected to do so. The Phillies (14-7) and Brewers (14-9) are all in positions which would be best described as ‘surprising’ at this point in the regular season.
Dodgers and Nationals also slow starting among fancied NL teams
The fact that the Dodgers (10-10), Nationals (10-12) and Cubs, all of whom were the sportsbooks favorites to win their respective divisions, have started slowly is a cause for concern, especially if that ground is not made up quickly.
For sure, there is no cause to panic right away the Cubs are priced at odds of 10/11 to win the NL Central. Indeed, even the slow-starting Nationals are 10/11 to win the NL East (Dodgers are 23/4, as they have the tough prospect of catching the excellent Diamondbacks). You can check out the latest odds and promotions from different books with these latest sportsbook reviews for the Canadian bettor.
Cubs’ World Series odds lengthened by several sportsbooks
But the point is that these are three very good teams who will all be thinking about Wild Card spots pretty soon if they don’t start reining in the teams around them. The Cubs position looks a little less precarious than the Dodgers and Nationals, but they still must improve. At the moment, they are priced at 9/1 to win the World Series, but some bookmakers have increased those odds to 16/1. That’s putting the Cubs on a par with the Blue Jays, Brewers and Mets: Is that really where fans saw them at the start of the season?
We all know that the narrative can change quite quickly during the MLB season and, of course, by the time you read this the Cubs could be going through the gears en route to the summit of the NL Central. They need to keep an eye on those teams around them though, because some are beginning to make their good starts look like the rule rather than the exception.