4 reasons the 2024 Chicago Cubs are playoff contenders

The Chicago Cubs have multiple reasons to believe a playoff berth is within reach this year.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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1. Division opponents have more questions than answers

For example, all four division opponents’ starting rotations lack anything that stands out on paper. Milwaukee lost both Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, and elite closer Devin Williams will be shelved for at least a few months with two fractured vertebrae in his back.

Outside of Sonny Gray, St. Louis's rotation has three pitchers who were among the bottom five in hits allowed a season ago. Pittsburgh's rotation is nothing to write home about. Cincinnati may actually have a few guys step up, and they are my pick to be the Cubs’ biggest threat to capturing the NL Central crown. 

Still, the Cubs have the best pitcher in the division, Justin Steele, followed by Shota Imanaga, who looks to have elite swing-and-miss capabilities as long as he keeps the ball in the park. After that, you have ol’ reliable Kyle Hendricks and Jordan Wicks, who has built on an impressive display at the end of the 2023 campaign, recording a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 IP this spring. Combining the upside of the Cubs’ rotation and the offensive and bullpen strengths mentioned above, it’s easy to see why the Cubs have the most complete team in the NL Central on paper.

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