By Rob Schardt
Do the Chicago Cubs have enough fire power to match the Dodgers and make it back to the World Series? As long as the club has players such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Wilson Contreras and Jon Lester, they are more than capable of making another World Series run. This past season the team took the NL Central title for the third straight year and went on to the Championship Series and lost to the Dodgers (4-1).
This upcoming season the Cubs are going to be right up there battling for the top team in the National League. With two potential MVP candidates in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo
serving in their lineup, the team will be among the elite. Last season, Albert Almora and Wilson Contreras stepped up their game and showed signs of being stars in the league. The team is loaded with depth, with players such as Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ. Manager Joe Maddon has a lot of different lineup combinations he can use throughout the year to help dominate against opposing pitchers.
In free agency the Cubs signed all-star Yu Darvish. Though Darvish is coming off his worst career year (10-12, 3.44 ERA), I believe that this is a sold move for the Cubs because Darvish has over 5 pitches that are absolute filthy. The Cubs signed pitchers Tyler Chatwood, Steve Cishek, and Brandon Morrow. Chatwood figures to fill a spot in the pitching rotation, while Cishek and Morrow will be factors towards the back end of the bullpen. Morrow should be the closer after Wade Davis signed with the Rockies in free agency.
Kyle Schwarber is the story of the Cubs offseason due to showing up to spring training about 30 pounds lighter. Schwarber was often criticized for being overweight as people claimed his speed on the bases and in the field. The Cubs should have another pretty successful year with the Brewers being their only legitimate threat to dethrone them. I believe the Cubs will finish 1st place in the NL Central with a record of 94-68, with the potential to make a deep run into the playoffs.
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