3 Keys to Cubs Winning NL Central 

Vinnie Portell
New Cubs acquisitions Eric Hosmer (middle) and Dansby Swanson (right) share a conversation in the dugout during Spring Training.
New Cubs acquisitions Eric Hosmer (middle) and Dansby Swanson (right) share a conversation in the dugout during Spring Training. /

Some people are counting the Cubs out this season, but they didn’t make all those additions for nothing. 

Chicago utilized free agency to acquire Dansby Swanson, Jameson Taillon, Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer and Tucker Barnhart. That’s practically half of a roster! 

There’s plenty of room to improve upon Chicago’s 74-88 record last season, but the good news is that the NL Central is one of the most winnable divisions in the sport. 

There could be some good value to be had in betting on the Cubs now. I’ll get into that shortly, but first you’ll want to learn about the highest-value promotion in sports betting at Caesars Sportsbook.

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After you’ve made it this far, you’ve unlocked your fully-insured bet! 

Of course, you could bet on any sport, game, or player, but if you’re a die-hard Cubs fan, why not bet on your favorite team?

Three Keys to Cubs Winning the NL Central 

If you’re betting on a competitive team to win their division, you’re going to have a hard time finding one with better odds than the Cubs. 

Chicago is +600 to win the NL Central and +4000 (!!) to win the NL pennant. 

Here are three reasons why a bet on the Cubs might not be such a bad idea:

1. Defensive Upgrades

Not many fans think about defense when it comes to MLB teams, but it can be a game-changing factor. 

Chicago MASSIVELY upgraded its defense this offseason, adding Dansby Swanson at shortstop to give them an up-the-middle defense (along with Nico Hoerner at second base) that combined to save 19 runs last season. 

But that wasn’t all.

The Cubs also added Cody Bellinger in center field and Tucker Barnhart at catcher, a couple of proven defensive players who were due for a change of scenery. These additions alone should make Chicago a much better team this season.

2. Figuring Out the Closer 

Most winning teams have a bonafide closer who they can turn to when the game is on the line. Chicago fans are all-too-familiar with how important this can be after trading for Aroldis Chapman to help them win the 2016 World Series. 

Brandon Hughes was solid in his rookie season last year, but only saved eight games and is relatively unproven compared to other closers on good teams. 

Chicago will need Hughes to continue to lock down the 9th inning or find out who can if it wants to keep playing baseball into October this year.

3. Finding an Ace

Chicago has a solid five-man starting rotation, but no ace jumps off the page. In past years, it would have been Kyle Hendricks, but the veteran is coming off injury and might not be ready to begin the season.

It’s likely up to Marcus Stroman or Taillon to step up and be Chicago’s big-game pitcher this season. It might not matter too much early, but it will absolutely be a factor down the stretch as each game becomes more important. 

No matter what you wager on this MLB season, make sure you do it with insurance. Sign up with Caesars before this limited-time offer ends!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.