go through Sam Panayotovic
Fox Sportsbook Analyst
“This chicago cubs There’s no hope or direction,” PlayUp USA head of betting Rex Byers told Fox Sports. “They’re not going to win another World Series in my lifetime. I’m pretty sure of this. “
For the second time in 10 years, the Cubs find themselves in the early stages of another grueling organizational rebuild.
A decade after then-Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein joined the likes of Tony Campana, Steve Klevinger, and Brian Lahael to build the lineup, today’s lineup will have a lot to offer G. McKinstry, Rafael Ortega and Frank Schwindel homered.
You might argue that none of these cats regularly start for a competitive baseball club, let alone three. But despite a $4 billion valuation and stupid fortune, the Cubs aren’t trying to win.
That was clear after current team president Jed Hoyer dumped team cornerstones Javier Baez, Chris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwaber last summer.
“From last year’s Opening Day to this year’s Opening Day, no team had more turnover than the Cubs,” Chris Bennett, Circa Sports sportsbook manager, told FOX Sports. “They dumped all the key World Series players and it looked like they were committed to a full rebuild. But then they made some moves in the offseason like they were trying to compete.”
The Cubs gave Marcus Strowman a three-year, $71 million contract and signed Japanese star Hiroshi Suzuki for $85 million for a five-year deal.
After Tuesday’s trade deadline unexpectedly sticking with Willson Contreras and Ian Happ rather than giving them up for more prospects, I’m as confused as anyone who supports the North Siders.
“They’re in a weird position and it’s hard to figure out what they’re doing,” Bennett admitted. “They need to get more young talent because they have a long way to go to be contenders again.”
Bennett speculates that the Cubs could win next year’s World Series at 200-1 when Circa opens the 2023 book of the future. It’s impossible to know exactly what the odds are right now, but triple figures are more than fair.
After decades of bettors flying to Las Vegas for tickets to the Cubs’ future in hopes that the team will finally break the Billy Goat curse, in the eyes of many, they’re just another team on the board.
“We don’t see a lot of public money for the Cubs to win the World Series anymore,” Bennett said. “There used to be a lot of entertainment games, whether they were supposed to be good or bad, but that hasn’t been the case recently.”
Epstein’s Cubs have excelled at developing positional pitchers and pitching from elsewhere. They cleverly paired in-house players Baez, Bryant, Rizzo and Schwarber with Jon Lester and John Lackey in free agency, and traded Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman. Signing Dexter Fowler, Jason Hayward and Ben Zobrist also helped.
The 2016 Cubs were a perfect storm, culminating in the franchise’s first championship in 108 years, but they didn’t come back despite Epstein’s promise of continued success.
Given all the complicated information and baffling roster changes since dealing with Chicago’s four World Series legends 12 months ago, it’s hard to be optimistic when Hoyer takes the big chair.
“If you’re going to give me a ton of cash, like $5 million, in exchange for instant death after the Cubs’ next World Series final, I’ll take the deal right away,” Byes concluded.
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He might choose to play against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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