Cubs’ 2016 hopes high


Associated Press

The Cubs hope to have plenty more celebrating to do this fall.

The Chicago Cubs have high expectations for this season, especially since they went 97-65 in 2015 and made it to the NLCS.  Last season’s young superstars Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, and Jorge Soler return in 2016, and the team has added a few more important key components during the offseason. 

In fact, the Chicago Cubs are stacked.  They signed Ben Zobrist for four years, and added outfielders Jason Heyward and Dexter Fowler via shorter term contracts.

The Chicago Cubs entered spring training as the favorite to win the World Series, as short as 4-1 in some Las Vegas sportbooks; no other team has single digit odds.  The closest other teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros who are next at 10-1, followed by the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox at 12-1. The Cubbies also had twice as much money bet on them, followed by the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

 “It’s amazing to see how many people are betting the Cubs,” MGM assistant manager Jeff Stoneback said to The Washington Post. “Every year, there are always a lot of tickets. Now that they’re good, you can basically double that. You get the people that are betting them just because they’re the Cubs and the people who are betting them because they actually think they’re going to win. That’s increased the ticket amount.”

 When Normal West science teacher Mr. Weber was asked what he thinks the Cubs will do this season, he said, “I think they will win their division. They do have high expectations this year, they are the favorite to win the World Series, so I think that’s the highest expectation.”

English Teacher Mr. Beal added, “Jason Heyward, obviously is going to be a key player. I also really like what I saw from Kyle Schwarber in the postseason. I’m looking for him to be more than just a power-hitter this season. As far as the pitching staff, Jake Arrieta, it’s hard not to be excited again after the postseason last year. If they don’t go to the World Series, I see them going to the NLCS again, and either stumbling with the Mets, or another national league powerhouse team.” 

The Cubs will open their 141st season at the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, April 5, with the Wrigley Field opener the following Monday night, April 11 against the Cincinnati Reds.