In 2022, the Chicago Cubs went 74-88, placing 3rd in the National League Central Division standings. The Cubs scored 4.06 runs per game while allowing 4.51. Chicago fans knew that they were in for a rebuild, but the club played well down the stretch and has now added some new pieces in what could be a rebuild on the double.
The Cubs signed free agent SS Dansby Swanson, who clocked a career-best 6.4 WAR last season. Swanson should help Chicago at the plate and in the field. He hit 65 doubles and 52 home runs over the last 2 seasons. Also donning Cubbies’ threads in 2023 will be OF Cody Bellinger — a former NL MVP reclamation project, 1B Eric Hosmer and DH Trey Mancini. So, perhaps the offense takes a significant step forward.
Let’s analyze the Chicago Cubs’ World Series odds, along with their projected win total, playoff, division and NL odds as we make our expert MLB picks and predictions.
Chicago Cubs World Series odds
Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Thursday, March 23 at 11:40 a.m. ET.
Odds: +5000 (bet $100 to win $5,000)
Chicago is a middle-of-the-pack club at this price. Thirteen teams have shorter odds. The Houston Astros (+600) are the favorites, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (+700), New York Mets (+700) and New York Yankees (+750). The Oakland A’s have the longest odds at +40000. The Washington Nationals are next at +30000.
At +5000 , the Cubs have an implied probability of winning the World Series of 1.96% or 50/1 fractional odds.
PASS. Perhaps because the Cubs are a bit of a public team, they have been overplayed in this market. Peg this return as about 60% what it should be to match true probability.
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Chicago Cubs playoff odds
Will they make the playoffs: Yes +320 | No -429
PASS. The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers figure to be the top contenders for an NL Central crown. It seems unlikely a wild card would come from the division, so peg Chicago’s chances as about 10-to-1.
Chicago Cubs win total
Over/Under: 77.5 (O: -120 | U: +100)
Peg this as a fair number. The Cubs will be interesting, with some upside factors, but at this pricing on this number the lean is on the UNDER 77.7 (+100).
To win NL Central Division
- St. Louis Cardinals -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
- Milwaukee Brewers +155 (bet $100 to win $155)
- Chicago Cubs +650 (bet $100 to win $650)
- Cincinnati Reds +6000 (bet $100 to win $6,000)
- Pittsburgh Pirates +7000 (bet $100 to win $7,000)
PASS. Though a caveat — if I were a Cubs fan wanting to get down a future to have fun with, this is the slot I’d support. The NL Central is very much a 2-and-a-half-horse race, with the Cards and Brewers, the Cubs being half a horse (2 quarter horses?) and the Reds and Pirates being out to pasture.
Last year, Chicago did go 33-25, with a nifty 3.28 ERA from Aug. 5 on. Overall, the Cubs actually did what good teams do, in that they beat up on lesser clubs (37-30 vs. under-.500 foes). They had all kinds of problems against the Redbirds (6-13, minus-39 run differential) and most of the NL West. But Chicago held its own against Milwaukee (10-9) and did better than both the Brewers and Cards when facing the tough NL East (Chicago went 21-10).
So, its not entirely clear that this year’s schedule homogenization — fewer intra-division games) helps separate those 2 front horses by enough ground.
As an informed analytics gamble-nerd, I would want at least +850 on this play. If I went to bed every night in Cubs pajamas and wanted to have some fun money on my team, this is where the return gets kind of close to fair.
To win National League
Odds: +3000 (bet $100 to win $3,000)
STEER CLEAR. The implied odds here — 3.23% — are just too far north of where the Cubs’ true chances live.
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