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Cubs Outside Top Ten in 2020 World Series Odds at +2500

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in MLB Baseball

Updated Apr 22, 2020 · 1:51 PM PDT

Chicago Cubs congratulating each other
Three seasons removed from a World Series title, the Chicago Cubs didn't even crack the top 10 in the opening 2020 World Series future book. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).
  • The Chicago Cubs didn’t even crack the top 10 in opening future book odds for the 2020 World Series
  • The Houston Astros and New York Yankees are listed as +600 co-favorites
  • The Cubs check into 11th spot with opening odds of +2500

In the fall of 2016, the Chicago Cubs were fresh off a World Series title. They were a young, talented team that looked poised to compete for many years to come.

Three years later, that seems long ago and for the Cubs, the World Series seems so far away.

The rebuilding Cubs, third in the National League Central last year with an 84-78 record, jettisoned manager Joe Maddon in favor of David Ross.

The belief that the Cubs are getting further away from the prize holds forth in the betting world. Across leading sportsbooks, the first future book average of 2020 World Series odds show the Cubbies not even among the top ten contenders at odds of +2300.

2020 World Series Odds

Team Odds
Houston Astros +600
New York Yankees +600
Los Angeles Dodgers +80
Atlanta Braves +1200
Boston Red Sox +1200
Cleveland Indians +1500
Washington Nationals +1500
Philadelphia Phillies +2000
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
Chicago Cubs +2500
Minnesota Twins +2500
New York Mets +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +3000
Oakland Athletics +3000
Tampa Bay Rays +3000

Odds taken on November 1st. 

Sportsbooks give the Cubs the 10th-best odds at +2500.

Culture Cubs

Ross, a catcher with the 2016 World champion Cubs, joins Chicago’s legendary turn-of-the-20th-century double-play combination of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance as people won played for a World Series winner with the team and also managed the team.

Tinker, to Evers, to Chance, to Ross. More like Tinker, to Evers, to Ross, and no chance.

Ross, who’d won a World Series with the San Francisco Giants before coming to the Cubs as a player, is viewed as a mentor and a tutor, as well as a leader, qualities that team management didn’t think were evident with Maddon in charge.


Ross, 42, fits the model of the modern manager. He’s a young motivator, a strong leader and yet, someone who also invests much intellectual currency into the value of analytics. It’s no accident that he won the day for the job over Joe Girardi, a grizzled veteran with World Series ring as a skipper.

Fundamentals Aren’t Sound

A big concern with the Cubs last season was their baseball fundamentals. Two bread and butter tasks – infield defense and base running – were sadly deficient.

They were second-last in MLB with 45 stolen bases. Chicago was tied for 24th in fielding percentage (.981) and committed the third-most errors (118).

Leadoff hitters for the Cubs last season were 30th in MLB in on-base percentage at .214.

Their bullpen blew 28 saves, third-worst in baseball.

World Series Win Set High Bar

When Maddon ended the Cubs’ 108-year World Series drought in his second year on the job, he forever changed the expectations for the city.

The Cubs may win another World Series under Ross but it won’t be next year. He’s got too much to fix between now and then.

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