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Chicago Cubs Betting: Cubs’ Fans Will Experience A Transition

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 4/3/2012 5:48:26 PM

The Chicago Cubs have a new team president and a new general manager. That's the good news. The bad news is that executives don't play on the field. This will be a season of struggle.

Chicago Cubs

If you are interested in betting on baseball this season, you should bet on the Cubs to finish in the lower half of the six-team National League Central Division. This long-suffering franchise has basically acknowledged to everyone else in Major League Baseball that it is starting from scratch. The Cubs retooled their organization in the offseason, hiring a new manager – Dale Sveum – and tabbing new executives in the front office. Theo Epstein, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, will come to the Windy City as the new president of the Cubs. He'll be joined by Jed Hoyer, the new general manager. The Cubs are trying to import the men who enabled the Red Sox to snap their 86-year World Series drought, making a transparent bid to steal some old-time baseball magic. However, there's only so much that a set of new leaders can do in one season. This is a multi-year plan – three years at the very least – for the Cubs. They won't become champions in 2012 or 2013. They'll need some time to remake themselves and begin the long, slow climb up the ladder in the big leagues.

This is, in other words, not the kind of team that has to stand out as a very attractive choice for legions of sports betting experts. A lot of light and not very dependable hitters fill the Cubs' projected opening day batting order. A top three of David DeJesus, Starlin Castro, and Marlon Byrd does not inspire much confidence. Alfonso Soriano (batting fifth) and Geovany Soto (sixth) are the biggest bats in the lineup. That shows how much of a problem the Cubs have on their hands. Teams that play at Wrigley Field need to be able to mash the ball out of the ballyard, and the Cubs don't have dynamic power hitters. They're simply not equipped to make a run at the brass ring this season, and their lineup will almost certainly look quite different as this season progresses. It should be substantially transformed 12 months from now.

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this team, you'll find that the pitching is not going to be enough to compensate for the lack of power hitting in the batting order. Ryan Dempster and new acquisitions Paul Maholm and Chris Volstad are serviceable pitchers, but not special ones. Matt Garza is a very solid number two starter, but nobody on this staff would qualify as a reliable shutdown ace, a guy who can repeatedly give the bullpen a day off in the middle of summer. Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood will anchor a quality bullpen, but the big question that jumps off the page is this: Will the Cubs have the lead in the eighth inning on a frequent basis this season? Probably not. Fourth place would be a decent year for this team, all things considered.



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