The Chicago Cubs are in the home stretch of the MLB regular season and appear to be getting hot at the right time. After pulling off a shocking comeback over the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series last season, the Cubs got off to a sluggish start in 2017. Despite the slow start, the Cubs are closing in on another 90-win season and another NL Central division win.
Joe Maddon and company have not been satisfied with the way they have played for the majority of the season, but come playoff time, the record is wiped clean and a fresh start is given.
Looking ahead at the postseason, the Cubs are a team that no one in the National League should want to face. They have a roster of players that are confident after winning the title last season and are thirsty to prove that they are better than the way they played for the majority of the regular season.
Chicago also has a roster perfectly put together for the postseason. They have four top-notch starting pitchers and an offense capable of putting up football score numbers.
All of that being said, what five reasons can be given to support the bold statement that the Chicago Cubs could pull off yet another shocking run to repeat as World Series champions?
The Starting Pitching
First and foremost, the starting pitching is extremely formidable for opposing teams in a playoff series. Being able to start Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks is something that not many teams can do. Los Angeles and Washington can put up a tough fight in the NL, but the Cubs’ pitching will match up with anyone.
Top-Notch Defense Up the Middle
One of the themes of the playoffs last year was the play of the middle of the Cubs’ infield. Addison Russell and Javier Baez are two of the best defensive infielders in the National League and have made life a living hell for opposing batters. That will not change come playoff time and fans should expect top-notch play like usual.
Impressive Lineup Power
Another key for the Cubs in their curse-breaking championship run last season was the long ball. Having power bats like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Baez, Willson Contreras, and Kyle Schwarber is not easy for opposing pitching staffs to shut down. Chicago has had inconsistency problems on the scoreboard this season, but they have been putting up big numbers as the regular season winds down.
Bullpen Beginning to Play to Potential
Early on this season the Cubs’ bullpen appeared to be a major problem. Lately, however, the bullpen has been getting their job done well. If Carl Edwards Jr., Brian Duensing, Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop can continue at the level they’ve been playing at, the Cubs’ bullpen will be hard to score off of.
Joe Maddon’s Management
Granted, there are times that Joe Maddon can get a bit carried away with his changes in the postseason, but without him the Cubs wouldn’t have won a championship last season. Ever since he took the managing position, the Cubs have been a different franchise. Maddon has a knack for managing big games and that will work in the Cubs’ favor this postseason.
All of that being said, the road to the World Series will be much more difficult than it was last season for the Cubs. Los Angeles and Washington are both extremely talented teams and getting past both of them will be a tough task.
Do you think the Chicago Cubs can repeat as World Series champions? If not, who do you think will end up winning the World Series? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!