The Chicago Cubs are still fresh off of winning their first World Series in 108 years last season. It was an amazing comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against the Cleveland Indians, and it made the Cubs’ fan base believe in their team’s chances once again. Heading into the 2017 MLB season, there are high expectations.
Joe Maddon and the Cubs are widely viewed as favorites to win their second championship in a row. It won’t be easy, but they certainly have put together the roster to compete for that opportunity.
Needless to say, Wrigley Field is going to be packed all season long. Chicago has not been this excited for Cubs baseball in years. Whether the Cubs end up repeating as champions or not, they should have yet another huge season and should see their young players show improvement from last season.
Theo Epstein made some additions from last year but also lost some key players. Among those key players to leave were Aroldis Chapman, David Ross, and Travis Wood. Chicago went out and acquired Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals and then brought in a few bullpen arms to help replace their losses.
All of that being said, what five bold predictions can be made for the Chicago Cubs heading into the 2017 MLB season?
Jake Arrieta Returns to Form with 20 Wins
Two years ago, Jake Arrieta won the National League Cy Young and won 22 games. He took a bit of a step back last season, winning 18 games, but didn’t look like his old self. Arrieta will get back on track this season with 20 wins and will look much more dominant than he did last year.
Kris Bryant Repeats as National League MVP
At 25-years-old, Kris Bryant is one of the best players in baseball and won the National League MVP last season. He hit 39 home runs to go along with 102 RBI’s and a .292 batting average. Bryant will come through with yet another huge season for the Cubs in 2017 and will win his second NL MVP in a row.
Chicago Cubs Will Win at Least 105 Games
Improving from last season’s 103-58 record won’t be easy for the Cubs, but they will find a way to do it. Chicago will see their young players take the next step, and the veterans will play consistently as well. When everything is said and done, the Cubs will win at least 105 games this season.
Cubs' big-money decisions start with Jake Arrieta https://t.co/nhudYzuYtg— We The North Side (@NorthSideBlog) February 22, 2017
Kyle Hendricks Will Pick Up Where He Left Off
One of the most intriguing starting pitchers to watch this coming season will be Kyle Hendricks. He recorded a 2.13 ERA last season to go along with a 16-8 record. Many believe that he will fall off a bit this season, but Hendricks will pick up where he left off and dominate once again.
The Chicago Cubs Will Win the World Series
Even though many don’t think the Cubs will repeat as World Series champions, Maddon and company will find a way to get the job done. They have a dominant lineup and their pitching staff is capable of dominance as well. Chicago has a feeling surrounding them once again this season and the Cubs will live up to the hype.
Expect to see the Chicago Cubs put on a show for their fans once again this year. It will be an entertaining season and the Cubs should have a good chance to repeat as champions. Maddon has changed the culture in Chicago, and it has the team and players believing once again.
Do you think the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series once again this season? What are your thoughts on the other bold predictions? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Ben Margot/AP Images]