Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM

2020 MLB Chicago Cubs World Series Odds & Picks

The Cubs Aim to Return to the Playoffs
in Their First Season Under David Ross

Joe Maddon has left the building. The manager that brought the Chicago Cubs their first World Series title since 1908 is now with the Los Angeles Angels, and the Cubs are retooling under first-year manager David Ross.

The former catcher that played a key role in World Series victories for the Red Sox and the Cubs was routinely called a future manager throughout his playing career, so expectations are high entering the 2020 campaign.

2020 Chicago Cubs World Series
Betting Online Odds at FanDuel: +3000

Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

2020 Chicago Cubs Season
World Series Odds Overview

The Cubs are tied with the Cincinnati Reds as the NL Central teams with the second-lowest odds to win the World Series. Both teams are 30-1 to win the title, while the St. Louis Cardinals are currently at 23-1. Interestingly, the Cubs are co-favorites with the Cardinals to win the NL Central at FanDuel though, as both teams are +220 to win the division. Cincinnati and Milwaukee aren’t far behind the two contenders, but Pittsburgh is 70-1 to win the NL Central, showing that this division is a four-horse race.

National League Central

Before COVID-19 led to the start of the season being postponed, every team but the Pirates was pegged to finish with a winning record in the division by the season win total odds. St. Louis figures to be Chicago’s toughest competition in the division after the Cardinals won the division and advanced to the NLCS in 2019. Cincinnati will be competitive with a rotation that looks intimidating on paper, while Milwaukee can’t be counted out with Christian Yelich returning to action.

On the Hill

Yu Darvish put it all back together at the tail end of the 2019 season. Darvish struggled through the first half of last year, posting a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star Break. He was electric after the break though, accumulating a 2.76 ERA in 13 starts. The big difference between those two halves of the season was his control. Darvish walked 49 batters in 97 innings of work before the ASG, but he only walked seven betters in 81.2 innings down the stretch. If he can maintain that control in 2020, he should be one of the top pitchers in the NL.

Jon Lester is in the last year of a six-year, $155 million contract, and he clearly wore down last season. Lester allowed a league-high 205 hits in 171.2 innings in 2019, posting a 4.46 ERA. He was a gas can over his last 11 starts, accumulating a 6.09 ERA and 1.838 WHIP in that stretch, and that doesn’t bode well for his prospects entering this season. If he does bounce back, he must fare better against lefties after allowing left-handed hitters to hit .319 off him in 2019.

Over the last six years, Kyle Hendricks has been remarkably steady. He is an above-average pitcher that has yet to finish with an ERA north of four, and that makes him valuable to any team. Hendricks doesn’t have great velocity with his fastball, but he mixes his pitches well to keep opposing batters off balance. If he ends up being the ace of the staff though, don’t expect Chicago to do much during the postseason.

After being arguably the best closer in baseball during the 2010s, Craig Kimbrel blew up last season. Kimbrel’s 13.1 K/9 was only slightly down from his career average, but he gave up nine home runs in just 20.2 innings of work, and his hits per nine innings was twice the number that we had seen in the past two years. He wasn’t signed until June of last season, so the Cubs are hoping that extended time with the organization will help him return to form.

At the Plate

Javier Baez is still in the prime of his career, and he could be lights out in 2020 after dealing with heel and thumb injuries last year. Baez finished the 2019 campaign with an .847 OPS despite the injuries, so he could be primed for the best season of his career. He has great power and should hit at least 30 home runs provided he stays healthy.

Anthony Rizzo remains the best hitter on the Cubs. Rizzo nearly topped his career-high OPS with a mark of .924 in 2019, and he is devastating with runners on the bases. He isn’t hitting home runs at the same rate he was in the middle of the decade, but his power is still obvious.

While Kris Bryant has not been the generational talent he was once heralded to be after a fantastic first two seasons in the big leagues, he is still one of the best players in the game. Bryant cranked at least 30 home runs for the second time in his career in 2019, posting a .903 OPS, but he has not been great with ducks on the pond.

2020 Chicago Cubs World Series Projection

The luster has worn off Chicago, but it feels like the Cubs have some value due to their bats. Baez, Rizzo, and Bryant are the core of a lineup that could be the best in the division, and this team should claim the NL Central if the pitching is above average.

2020 Chicago Cubs World Series Free Pick:
Worth a shot at 30/1 odds

Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

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