Chicago Cubs Odds: MLB Win Totals, Projections, Possible Bets

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
Chicago Cubs odds

Welcome to TheLines.com’s 2024 Spring Training preview of MLB odds. We’ll preview every team’s 2024 season with a focus on MLB win totals and World Series odds. We’ll evaluate each team’s roster and see if there are any wagers worth considering. Today, we’ll look at Chicago Cubs odds.

A resurgent campaign in 2023 saw the Cubs win 83 games, but poor luck and a high-profile defensive gaffe by Seiya Suzuki doomed them to a missed playoff berth.

In a wide-open NL Central, can the Cubs have fortune smile upon them in 2024?

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Cubs Odds: An Overview And What The Projections Say

First, let’s compare the market on Cubs odds to publicly available projections from FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.

  • 2023 wins: 83
  • Market wins: /
  • FanGraphs wins: 82.1
  • Baseball Prospectus wins: 81.8

The market likes the Cubs slightly more than the computers, particularly in NL Central divisional projections. Getting Cody Bellinger back into the fold was big, even if he regresses as expected from last year’s outstanding rebound.

The thing the Cubs really have going for them is there just aren’t a lot of big holes on this roster, so it will be hard for any one or two injuries or bad seasons to sink them. They’re just pretty solid across the board, and the bar should be relatively low in the NL Central unless someone logs another season like the Brewers did, with +7 wins in the sequencing department.

Evaluating The Cubs Roster

Bats And Defense

The Cubs have built their lineup the same way they’ve built the roster at large. There aren’t really any superstars to be found, but there are a lot of pretty good hitters and a paucity of free outs.

One thing Chicago has going for it here is that most of the key pieces are in their prime. Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, Bellinger, Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki are projected to occupy the top five spots in the lineup. All are between 26 and 31.

There’s more youth in the pipeline, too, with Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcantara possibly able to contribute this year. Each has received prospect grades that befit at least an average MLB starter. As future center fielders, each would fit nicely into one of the few weak points in the lineup, should he ascend to the major league level this season.

The only major weak spot looks to be at catcher, where Yan Gomes enters his age-36 season. He provided some thump and can still hit lefties, but his framing dragged the defense down, and his poor plate discipline made for volatile production.

The defense was one of MLB’s stronger units last year and should remain so, with the infield especially strong. Hoerner and Swanson make for possibly the premier double-play combo in the game. Bellinger provides an elite glove on the days he plays first. If Crow-Armstrong cracks the lineup and someone who can frame a pitch gets parked behind the dish (Miguel Amaya?), the Cubs may field a top-five group.

Pitching

Here, the Cubs do have a possible star in Justin Steele. The lefty may be a legitimate late-career ace in the making, similar to former Cubs Jake Arrieta. After two straight seasons of bedeviling the opposition with his cutter-heavy approach to the tune of a ~3 ERA and peripherals around 3.5, the projections are bought in that he’s at least very good.

Again, though, the depth provides a stable platform of value.

Japanese lefty Shota Imanaga has similar projections to Steele despite a poorly graded fastball. We’ll see what the 30-year-old can bring to the table, but near-ace upside exists.

Jameson Taillon, Jordan Wicks, and Kyle Hendricks round out the group. Taillon is probably the worst of the bunch, but he’s at least reliable, having made 29 starters or more in three straight seasons. From a No. 5, that will do.

The bullpen looks more decent than good. Depth is again the hallmark. Hector Neris makes for a solid addition as the setup guy, and there are at least six pitchers whom one wouldn’t feel terrible about throwing in a tight game. Adbert Alzolay might leave a little to be desired as the closer, but he performed at an acceptable level last season. Long options Javier Assad and Drew Smyly give the Cubs a chance to fight back in any game where the starter falls into an early hole.

Possible Bets On Cubs Odds

I like the way the Cubs have built this roster, aside from their insistence on rolling Gomes out as the starting catcher. They’ve made sound investments and look like they should be pretty well insulated from injury in both the pitching and position player groups.

In a wide-open NL Central, I’d feel more comfortable backing them than the Cardinals if shopping at the top of the market. I still think the pitching is quite rickety in St. Louis, and they look more vulnerable to injuries with older players playing some key roles.

However, the +200 out there isn’t really enough to get me excited. Some of the longer shots intrigue me a little more, but I do expect a solid season from the Cubs. They look as strong as anyone in the division, so I couldn’t blame anyone for taking some Cubs futures if they agree that the Cardinals are overpriced.

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