Cody Bellinger's contract creates a major shift for the Cubs in NL Central odds

What a difference a single player can make... when that single player is Cody Bellinger

Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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Last week we brought up the fact that oddsmakers saw the Cubs as a bad bet to do much in the NL Central, much less win a World Series. 

Since then the Cubs have obviously made a pretty large-scale change to their team in the form of signing OF/1B Cody Bellinger to a three-year, $80 million dollar contract. 

At the time of writing the previous piece the Cubs were sitting at +240 to win the NL Central and the Cardinals were ahead of them at +175. According to Sports Illustrated, those odds have now changed to having the Cubs (+180) ahead of the Cardinals (+185) in the division race. 

Fox Sports has a few interesting changes to report as well. The Cubs went from +3700 to win the World Series at this time last week to +3500 having now signed the former MVP to his three-year deal.

Beyond the World Series, they also have some long odds on Bellinger to win the MVP (again) or be the regular season home run or RBI leader. Considering his over/under handicap for homers on the season comes in at 24.5 it makes sense that he’s not exactly the favorite to lead the league in that category.

These odds may not mean much in terms of actual wins and losses on the field. Oddsmakers obviously didn’t expect the 2023 World Series to feature the Arizona Diamondbacks who came into the season at +6600 and the Texas Rangers who opened at +5000.

That being said, I like this team a lot more with Bellinger signed than with him hanging out with Scott Boras all spring.

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