With Vegas odds now greatly reduced to 6-1, we all now know that the Cubs are potential favourites to win the Series. Is it warranted? yes. However, there is a great caveat on this prediction. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report and the snow is still fresh on the ground.
There’s a new catcher in town. Miguel Montero and early enthusiasm towards this game breaking guard of home plate, is astounding. We don’t know yet what is to become of Welington Castillo.
The Cubs are solidified behind the plate. They’re strong on the infield and pitching is respectable although not quite where they want it to be. The outfield could use a few tweaks, but Fowler should carry the load.
With prospects Kris Bryant and Addison Russell leading the pack in the farm system, we know the Cubs are going to be highly competitive and should win between 85-90 games this season.
That’s a fact.
Of course, the excitement that Joe Maddon is bringing to the dugout is unparalleled.
Pitchers and catchers report in less than twenty days. As I write this, I’m listening to The Trio from Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Is this foreshadowing of the National League Central division? Will it be a duel to the end between the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates?
The Cubs won’t be pushed around this season. They’ll compete for the top spot with Ernie’s number patched to their shoulders. The sun will shine bright over Wrigley Field.
Predictions could be dangerous. The Cubs could win and the Cubs could very well lose.
No matter the outcome, what players, managers and fans should take away from the passing of Chicago’s mightiest hero, is to go out there this spring and compete hard, be fair, be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
Remember, players should not play for the name on the back of the jersey, but play for the name on the front.