The Chicago Cubs had an incredibly disappointing season last year in Major League Baseball, as they finished with a record of 71–91 (.438); a feat that had seen them finish in fourth place in the Central Division, a total of 24 games out of first place in the division.
Indeed, for many Cubs fans, it was also the second time that they had seen the team that they follow passionately unable to qualify for the postseason since 2014, whilst other unwanted records had continued to be made for the Wrigley Field outfit.
It was the first time the organization had ended up with a losing record since the 2014 campaign, whilst it was also the first time since 2013 that the team had lost 91 total games. Naturally, there may have been many in the stands of the stadium that may have expected a disastrous season once the trade deadline had passed.
The core of the 2016 World Series Champions had each been traded prior to the deadline:
- Anthony Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees with cash for Alexander Vizcaino & Kevin Alcantara on July 29.
- Kris Bryant went to the San Francisco Giants for Alexander Canario & Caleb Kilian on July 30.
- Javier Báez & Trevor Williams (plus cash) were traded to the New York Mets for Pete Crow-Armstrong on July 30.
Plenty of change at the Chicago Cubs this season
Since then, the Cubs have undergone a number of key personnel changes across the entire organization, with backroom staff being changed, whilst new players have since been acquired to try and bring some glory back to the Chicago franchise.
Although David Ross had signed a contract extension to remain as manager, Carter Hawkins was brought in to try and change things from the General Manager position, whilst changes at specialist coaching positions were also made, with hitting coach Anthony Iapoce having been fired following the end of last year’s dreadful season.
Additionally, there have been some new faces to arrive on the field for the team, with fans at Wrigley Field able to see some of them in action already. Seiya Suzuki is perhaps one name that many have been looking forward to seeing take to the plate following his arrival in the MLB.
The Japanese slugger, who is making his debut in the American League after making headlines in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball competition, has been impressive over the last few years:
- 2018 saw him hit .321/.439/.625 in 125 games with 32 doubles, 31 homers, 96 RBI, and 87 runs.
- 2019 saw him hit .335/.453/.565 in 140 games with 31 doubles, 28 homers, 87 RBI, 112 runs, 25 steals and he walked 22 times more than he struck out.
- 2020 saw him continue as he managed to hit .300/.409/.544 in 118 games with 26 doubles, 25 homers, 75 RBI, and 85 runs.
- 2021 saw him hit .317/.433/.636 in 134 games played with 26 doubles, 38 homers, 88 RBI, and 77 runs.
Seiya Suzuki has reached base safely in nine straight games to start his MLB career.
He has a hit in all eight games with an official at-bat. pic.twitter.com/qSQRpM8VKZ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 17, 2022
Clearly, there is a lot to be excited about regarding Suzuki, but will he be able to hit those numbers in his first season in an entirely new league? Indeed, those who may be considering placing a sports bet on the Chicago Cubs reaching the World Series might be hoping he does and it seems he has already been able to make a positive impression.
The passionate fans that are based in the state now have the ability to place a bet on their favorite team via the use of some incredible Illinois sports betting sites that are now available to use, although they may want to consider where the Cubs are and what really needs to happen.
Indeed, it would not be a surprise to see a number of people in Chicago and the other cities and neighborhoods of Illinois look to back their team given how passionate they are, but would they really be right to back their team for a shot at returning to the World Series?
A Positive Start Has Already Been Made
There is perhaps some encouragement regarding recent performances in the MLB that the Cubs could look to make a swift return to the postseason, although we are only a handful of games into the 2022 season at the time of writing.
The Cubs have already managed to post a positive start as they are currently 5-4 on the season and sit second in the NL Central Division; level with the Pittsburgh Pirates and half a game back from the St. Louis Cardinals at this extremely early stage.
There Is Still Plenty That Needs To Be Fixed
Naturally, it is far too early to be looking at what the team is doing now at this stage of the MLB year, though, and it is perhaps best to consider what they need to fix in order to be able to challenge for the World Series this season.
Fans will argue that there are things to work on across the board for the Cubs, with areas within the pitching, the offense, and the defense all needing improvement.
In regard to pitching, the Cubs simply need to enjoy a spell of rotation to be significantly improved as much as possible based on last year’s numbers. In the offense, players like Jason Heyward, Clint Frazier, Suzuki, Frank Schwindel, Patrick Wisdom, Nick Madrigal, and Nico Hoerner all need to ensure they are firing from the very beginning if the organization is to have any chance.
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Naturally, the defensive department was always going to need strengthening following the departures of Báez and Rizzo. The Cubs are going to have to make a number of decisions throughout the year to ensure they get positioning right, otherwise, this could potentially cost them big time.
Willson Contreras will need to have an outstanding year in what is a contract year for the two-time All-Star catcher, whilst Heyward is going to need to be able to improve his on-field production after a rather below-par 2021, especially as talented prospect Brennen Davis waits for his opportunity to show the team what he can do.
Will the Chicago Cubs Make It to the World Series?
So, will the Chicago Cubs make it to the World Series? Right now, it is incredibly early to tell, although the start could be considered encouraging. Should the team be able to get the facets identified above correct and maintain them throughout the year, then perhaps they will make a swift return to the postseason and compete for the World Series after all.