You’re a Chicago Cubs fan so you must be feeling good as the Cubs are baseball’s best team and seemingly everybody’s pick to win the World Series.
You’re a Cubs fan so you’re probably also feeling a bit apprehensive because you’re fully aware of the curse of Murphy, the billy goat allegedly kicked out of Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series, the last time the Cubs played in the Series.
When someone mentions Bartman, you don’t think Bart Simpson. Your mind immediately races to the unfortunate Steve Bartman, the fan who interfered with a ball about to be caught by Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, sparking an eight-run rally by the Florida Marlins during the 2003 National League Championship Series.
But that’s all a thing of the past and Cubs fans have a right to be excited. This year’s version brings something extra special to the table.
You can’t swing a baseball bat without hitting a line drive toward a sportsbook picking the Cubs to win it all. Bovada has the Cubbies at +250 to capture the World Series and BetOnline is offering +260 on the Cubs to take the Fall Classic.
So sold on the Cubs BetOnline is offering a prop bet of +260 on the Cubs with a -350 for any other team in major league baseball to win the World Series.
Those numbers are enticing and here are some other digits that should bring warmth to the heart of every Cubs fan.
On Sept. 13 the Cubs, who boast the best record in baseball, extended their NL Central Division lead to 17 games. The last time the Cubs led a division by 17 games? In 1945, which was also the last time they played in the World Series.
The Cubs were also the first team in the big leagues to reach 90 wins, the first time that’s happened since 1945.
Then there’s the X-Factor or is that the Ep-factor?
We’re talking about Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations since 2011. Credited with rebuilding a moribund Cubs team back into a contender, previously Epstein was general manager of the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2004.
That World Series triumph ended a drought that extended back to 1919, when the curse of the Bambino was enacted after Boston sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the hated New York Yankees.
But forget about curses for a moment and digest some more facts.
These Cubs are loaded for bear. Third baseman Kris Bryant ranks among the NL leaders in home runs, RBI, runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases. First baseman Anthony Rizzo is up there in doubles and second baseman Ben Zobrist is among the best in drawing walks.
Starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta all rate amongst the top 10 in the league in earned-run average, strikeouts, wins, winning percentage and innings pitched. The Cubs are deep on offense, defense and on the mound, offering playoff-hardened manager Joe Maddon oodles of options when it comes to matchups against opposing lineups.
The Cubs were the first major-league team to win back-to-back World Series titles (1907-08) and the first team to play in three successive World Series (1906-08).
In the infancy of the Fall Classic, the Cubs were dominant. This year’s team appears poised to bring that kind of dominance back to Wrigley Field so back the boys from Chicago to win this World Series. Curses be damned. The writing is on the wall.
Have a look at who Cubs play next, scan their schedule, find out the best betting lines for every game and heed some tips on how to make more money from your Cubs’ bets.