With the 2017 season winding down, the Cubs are aiming to make the MLB playoffs. Here’s why the Cubs will make it.
Just last year, the Cubs became everyone’s favorite team — that is, unless you’re a Cardinals or Brewers fan. Baseball’s lovable loser finally became the favorite to win the World Series in 2016 and the Cubs delivered, breaking the 108-year drought.
Winning that first World Series since 1908 was an incredible feeling for the young Cubs and the fans, too. The seemingly unbreakable drought was finally over and no end to the Cubs’ perennial contention was in sight as the team was as young as any in baseball.
However, the Cubs didn’t get off to quite the start in 2017 as they did in 2016. Chicago was struggling to put the division away and the preseason World Series favorite found itself fighting for the division lead with the Brewers and Cardinals. Well, that fight for the division is still taking place, but it’s the Cubs’ to lose.
This team has all the talent in the world, but has to make a strong run in the final handful of games to hold on to that slim lead and make the MLB playoffs for the third straight year. If they do hold on to make it, the Cubs will have made the postseason three years in a row for the first time since 1906-08.
With just a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, the Cubs are poised to hold on to a slim National League Central lead and make the playoffs yet again.
5. Quality midseason additions providing depth
The Cubs made some moves in the middle of the season to ensure a deep run in October. The big addition was Jose Quintana, coming over from the crosstown rival White Sox. He has started 12 games with his new club since the trade and has won four of his last five decisions.
Moreover, Quintana has a 3.95 ERA with the Cubs since being brought over, which is an improvement from his slow start with the White Sox earlier in the season. He provides solid depth in the rotation and he’s one of the main reasons this Cubs team is so scary to face.
In the bullpen, the Tigers dealt Justin Wilson to the Cubs by the deadline and he was Detroit’s closer at the time. He was one of the most sought-after bullpen pieces in the majors but hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far. He still has the stuff to be a force out of the pen.
In the lineup, catchers Alex Avila and Rene Rivera were added in the middle of the season as well. Both have provided some extra depth behind the plate and each brings veteran leadership. It’s not easy to get quality depth behind the plate, but the Cubs have just that.