It’s going to take baseball fans a while to get over what just happened. Most folks had the Chicago Cubs listed as the preseason favorite to win the World Series and, for once, things went according to script in the MLB. The Cubs lived up to the hype every step of the way, winning an MLB-best 103 games and proving to be the class of the National League. In an epic World Series, the Cubs clawed back from being down three games to one to defeat the Indians in the 10th inning of Game 7. It’s going to take the majority of the offseason to allow that to sink in; the Chicago Cubs are World Champions.
Spring Training will be here before we know it, but the 2016 season will stay on our minds for years to come. Or will it? This Cubs team is young and loaded with talent. October baseball on the Northside of Chicago could become the new norm. The Cubs are preseason favorites to defend their title in 2017. The nucleus of the squad is back and it has proven the ability to win it all. We’ll see what transpires in the offseason but Chicago should be even stronger next year.
Cubs’ fans rightfully want to enjoy the moment but they’ll be equally excited (well, maybe not quite) when they start to think about the 2017 season. Let’s take a look at the ridiculously early future odds. Will the Cubs and Indians meet in the Fall Classic again? What’s the likelihood of each of the 30 teams winning it all? Those odds and much more are listed below.
2017 MLB Futures
Odds to win 2017 World Series:
Chicago Cubs: 4/1
Boston Red Sox: 10/1
Cleveland Indians: 12/1
Washington Nationals: 12/1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 14/1
Houston Astros: 15/1
New York Mets: 15/1
Texas Rangers: 18/1
Detroit Tigers: 20/1
San Francisco Giants: 25/1
St. Louis Cardinals: 25/1
Toronto Blue Jays: 30/1
Kansas City Royals: 35/1
Baltimore Orioles: 40/1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 40/1
New York Yankees: 40/1
Seattle Mariners: 50/1
Tampa Rays: 80/1
Atlanta Braves: 100/1
Chicago White Sox: 150/1
Colorado Rockies: 150/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 150/1
Minnesota Twins: 200/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 200/1
Arizona Diamondbacks: 250/1
San Diego Padres: 250/1
Cincinnati Reds: 300/1
Miami Marlins: 300/1
Oakland Athletics: 300/1
Los Angeles Angels: 350/1
The Cubs are a huge favorite but still have only a 20-percent chance of winning the crown. Free agency, injuries, and a World Series hangover could all upset the apple cart. Even if the Cubs meet expectations, they will have to once again navigate through October. It’s tough to repeat but this team has pitching, hitting, and experience to do it.
A couple teams climbing the ladder are the Atlanta Braves and the Tampa Rays. Each team has a roster that’s far more talented than their 2016 records indicate. On the other hand, the bottom of the American League West is currently looking miserable. The Angels and A’s could be two of the worst teams next season.
Odds on most likely matchups in the 2017 World Series
Cubs vs. Red Sox: 10/1
Cubs vs. Indians: 12/1
Nationals vs. Red Sox: 30/1
Dodgers vs. Red Sox: 35/1
Nationals vs. Indians: 36/1
Dodgers vs Indians: 42/1
In reality Cubs vs. Astros (15/1), Rangers (18/1), Tigers (20/1), and Blue Jays (30/1) should all be listed in the top-six. However, it’s far more interesting to include a few non-Cubs matchups.
Odds on who will be fired first: Joe Maddon or Terry Francona
Terry Francona: 3/2
Joe Maddon: 3/1
Neither will be fired: 13/7
Quick turnover is the nature of today’s game but both of these guys are on stable ground for the foreseeable future. Each has a resume which will earn Hall of Fame consideration and both could end up walking away from the game on their own terms.
Odds of a Cubs vs. Indians rematch in the 2017 World Series: 12/1
As listed above, it’s the second-most likely matchup for next year’s Fall Classic. The whole world knows the Cubs will be loaded again but the Indians will also repeat as a contender. The Tribe had a banged up pitching staff this postseason and should be in a better position if they’re playing next October.
Odds on Cubs or Indians returning to World Series first:
Chicago Cubs: 1/3
Cleveland Indians: 3/1
Both of these teams are primed for long-term success, but the Cubs’ young nucleus of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, etc. could be downright dominant in the NL for the foreseeable future. The Indians might have the best staff in the AL next season and down the road, but teams like Boston are going to spend huge in free agency, adding quality hurlers to the league’s most potent lineup. It’ll be a steep climb back to November baseball for the Tribe.
Over/under on next World Series appearance by the Chicago Cubs: 2018.5
The under is a slight favorite here as the Cubs are a little better than 50-percent to capture another NL Pennant in the next two years.
Odds Cubs have another 71-year (or longer) World Series drought: 120/1
It’s very unlikely but a big part is the quality of the current product. If this group fails to get back in the next five years, these odds will drop.
Odds on the next sports curse to be broken:
Cleveland Indians (Curse of Rocky Colavito): 7/2
Arizona Cardinals (Pottsville Curse): 9/2
Baltimore Orioles (Curse of Jeffrey Maier): 5/1
Win Super Bowl on home field (Super Bowl Curse): 11/2
Toronto Maple Leafs (Curse of Bill Barilko): 7/1
Chicago Bears (Honey Bears Curse): 10/1
Win the Masters’ Par 3 Contest and tournament (Masters Curse): 15/1
This is just in case you still believe in curses after watching the Cubs win the World Series. All will be broken someday and the Indians have the best shot of doing it first. Be honest, how many of these had you heard of before looking them up? The Cubs are World Series champions … curses schmerses!
Photo credit: Julie Fennell (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.