Cubs have horrible odds of winning the NL Central this season

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

With spring training officially underway, the anticipation for a full MLB season is building. With word that Wrigley Field will be open for Cubs fans only makes things more exciting. The NL Central is going to be very interesting this year and many are saying it’s up for grabs. The Nolan Arenado trade by the Cardinals puts them as the frontrunner in Vegas’ eyes, but let’s take a look at where the value is.

Per Bovada, here are the current odds to win the NL Central:

  • Cardinals: Even
  • Brewers: +350
  • Reds: +375
  • Cubs: +500
  • Pirates: +10000

These numbers are very interesting as the Cardinals were +250 before the Arenado move. This move has drastically shifted the odds as we see St. Louis has moved all the way to even. The question to ask is with no other additions by the Cardinals front office and a lot of unproven young talent, will Arenado really be the only thing this team needs to take them to the next level? My answer is no and I believe they are overvalued as a result.

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The odds that stick out are ironically the Cubs. These are the odds for the Cubs to win by year since 2018:

  • 2018: -130
  • 2019:+135
  • 2020: +250
  • 2021: +500

Obviously, losing Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, Victor Caratini and Jose Quintana help for the reasoning behind the big odds but the retooling Jed Hoyer and this front office have done shows me this team is undervalued.

Cubs added value incrementally

Adding Joc Pederson, Zach Davies, Trevor Williams, Jake Arrieta, Brandon Workman and depth options in Jake Marisnick, Eric Sogard and Pedro Strop really help shore up this roster.

There is too much onus put on losing Darvish, in my opinion. Seeing the Reds, who really only added Sean Doolittle this offseason while also losing a Cy Young candidate in Trevor Bauer, with better odds than the Cubs after finishing third in the division in 2020 is a bit puzzling.

Minus Darvish, the Cubs have, in my opinion, effectively added players that will have the same, if not more, of an impact than the players lost this offseason.

The Brewers have an intriguing shot as well this season as they have two of the most underrated starters in baseball in Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff and the additions of Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr. really help this team defensively. They appeared undervalued as well at +350.

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The NL Central will be a lot closer than the odds show and the Cubs and Brewers have great value right now. The Cardinals won the eyes of the public with the flashy acquisition of Arenado, which is the reason we are seeing such low odds on them right now. Both Chicago and Milwaukee made more value-based moves that will make their rosters better and give them a real shot at a division title.