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It seems like forever ago that the Chicago Cubs finally won their first World Series since 1908, ending the curse of the Billy Goat.  

But it was really only eight seasons ago that the Cubs won 103 games and won that World Championship.  They had a solid four-year run, that included a World Series and two other trips to the NL Championship Series in 2015 and 2017. 

The team did make a postseason appearance during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, but it hasn’t been the best of times for the Cubs since 2018. 

They were in the thick of the Wild Card race for much of the 2023 season, only to fade away, finishing second in the NL Central – but missing the postseason again. With the Milwaukee Brewers looking to sell some of the higher-priced talent and losing their manager, Craig Counsell to the Cubs, times could be changing for Chicago. 

The hiring of Counsell gives some hope that the Cubbies might be able to turn it around in 2024 and make a return to the playoffs. 

The N.L. Central seems to be wide open with the Brewers in limbo, the Cardinals rebuilding, and the Pirates always stuck at the bottom of the standings.  Right now, it seems like the Cubs and Reds could be the favorites in the Central Division to grab a playoff berth in 2024.  

Right now, as we head into the meetings, where offseason movement might pick up, the Cubs have the best odds of any Central team to represent the N.L. in the World Series at +1500 as per 

Going into the 2024 season, they might have the best shot to represent the Central in the National League playoffs. 

The Cubs have a solid core with Dansby Swanson, Christopher Morel, Ian Happ, and Seiya Suzuki.  They do have two key questions; will free agents Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman return to Chicago.

Overall, Chicago is the sixth choice (out of 15 teams) at +1500 according to sportsbook apps in Illinois to win the NL Pennant for the first time since 2016. But when it comes to how they fare to win the World Series, you can get really good value on Chicago right now at +2800 which is good for 15th, out of 30 MLB teams. 

If you remember back a few months, there were not too many people around the country that thought the Arizona Diamondbacks could win the National League–especially as a Wild Card–but they did just that and the Phillies did the same thing the year before. 

Surprises can happen in baseball, especially with teams that can throw money around like the Cubs, so grab them now, while their value is at its highest. 

Would it be a shock if the Cubbies won the pennant? Probably, Yes, but playing in the N.L. Central gives them a good shot at making the postseason, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Cubs make the playoffs in 2024. 

Bringing back their free agents will be key, but adding Counsell and playing in a weaker division makes them a good value play. 

If not in 2024, there is always next year from Cubs fans!

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