Apr. 05, 2017
Four reasons why the Cubs will not repeat as World Series Champions
With Sunday being Opening Day for MLB, it is this time of the year where predictions on the upcoming baseball season are announced. As expected, many people believe the Chicago Cubs will repeat as World Series Champions. Here are four reasons why the Cubs will not win the World Series in 2017.
The Cleveland Indians got better
The 2017 World Series was one of the better World Series in recent years. Not only because it included two unique teams but also because it went to seven games.
Despite falling short, the Cleveland Indians put up a great fight against the Cubs, losing by only one run in the seventh game. Play that series again and the Indians can win.
One reason why the Cubs won’t repeat as World Champions is because the Indians are better this year than they were last year.
The Cubs got a little lucky because the Indians were battling injuries going into the World Series. Their best batter, Michael Brantley, only played 11 games last season. They were also without Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Then they went out in free agency and picked up an incredible hitter in Edwin Encarnacion to add a major power threat to the lineup.
Their bullpen will be worse
One of the Cubs strongest assets was the bullpen. Chicago’s bullpen ranked eighth in MLB and fourth in the National League with a 3.56 ERA. The 2016 Cubs’ bullpen featured arguably the most dominant reliever in the game in Aroldis Chapman.
However, this season the bullpen will look very different than last. Chapman signed to rejoin the New York Yankees in the offseason, creating a huge void in the bullpen. In his time with Chicago, Chapman produced a 1.01 ERA in 28 games.
Not only will the Cubs be without Chapman, but will be missing Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood. Wood had a 2.95 ERA and Cahill a 2.74 ERA last year. They did acquire Wade Davis who is extremely good and had a 1.87 ERA last season, but that is only one player and he doesn’t make up for the loss of Chapman, Cahill, and Wood.
Competition got better
Not only did the Indians improve over the offseason, but other teams that the Cubs will compete with in the National League got better too.
The Washington Nationals finished second in the National League despite obstacles. Stephen Strasburg battled injury and the 2015 National League MVP, Bryce Harper, regressed significantly. Harper went from a 1.109 OPS to an .814 OPS and hit 18 less home runs in 2016 than he did in 2015. Harper should get back to his MVP ways.
Washington also signed a very good outfielder in Adam Eaton. Eaton boasted a 6.0 WAR due to very good offense and defense.
In addition to the Nationals, the New York Mets will also be entering the season healthy. That scary rotation is now healthy and if they can do massive damage if they can stay on the field.
It’s hard to repeat as World Series champions
Let’s face it, it’s hard to win the World Series two years in a row. There have been 112 World Series dating back to 1903. Teams winning back to back World Series championships have happened over the course of baseball’s history, but it doesn’t happen often. Since 1903, there have only been 14 times in which a team has won back to back championships.
However, many of those happened when there were fewer teams and the league was more top heavy. Over the past 40 years, there have only been three teams who have won back to back championships. Those teams are the 1977-1987 New York Yankees, the 1992-1993 Toronto Blue Jays, and the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. The Cubs would be the first team in almost 20 years to win back to back.