3 things that have to happen for the Cubs to win in 2023

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers / Michael Owens/GettyImages
1 of 2

The Cubs, at least according to Fangraphs, have improved more than any other team in the league this offseason. But is it enough to play into the fall in 2023 and pick up their first postseason win since the 2017 NLCS? We'll know in a little over nine months' time.

There's no debating that the road to a division title runs through St. Louis, a team itself that will look different than a year ago after the retirement of a pair of future Hall of Famers in Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina. You can make the case for Milwaukee, as well, but they weren't the same team after David Stearns jettisoned Josh Hader at the deadline.

In other words, the path isn't going to be easy for the Cubs. But if things break just right, they might just have enough to punch that postseason ticket. Here are 3 things that must happen for Chicago to bring October baseball back to the Friendly Confines this fall.

3 things that have to happen for the Cubs to win in 2023: #3 - Cody Bellinger improves

Look, I hope Cody Bellinger goes off, wins National League Comeback Player of the Year and plays so well that some team backs the Brinks truck up in his driveway next winter. But I'm a realist and do my best to stay away from such lofty aspirations, especially when my sports teams are concerned.

If he can just be a league average bat (100 OPS+) and maintain his Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field, it'll go a long way toward helping fill a huge void on this team. He brings enough to the table with his glove that despite a 78 OPS+ last season with the Dodgers, he still managed a 1.2 bWAR in 144 games.

Adding some of that pop he was once known for back into his arsenal could put him back on the path that made him one of the biggest names in the sport with Los Angeles. But I'm not looking for an MVP showcase from the former first-rounder; modest improvements at the dish is all I need.