- 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
|New York Yankees||+600|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+80|
|Boston Red Sox||+1200|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2200|
|New York Mets||+2500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+3000|
Odds taken on November 1st.
Sportsbooks give the Cubs the 10th-best odds at +2500.
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.
The other three?
Joe Tinker (managed 1916)
Johnny Evers (managed 1913 & 1921)
Frank Chance (managed 1905-12)
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 23, 2019
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.
As we officially change the guard today from Joe Maddon to David Ross, it feels fitting to throw it back to one of Joe's classiest moves as the Cubs manager: Removing David Ross mid-inning so he could receive a standing ovation in his final reg season game at Wrigley. pic.twitter.com/PDbOVEnTIN
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) October 24, 2019
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.
Remember that time the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series?
That was a good time in Chicago sports.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 27, 2019
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).
Now let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/tw2iA1GMDt
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 28, 2019
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.