2019 Odds to Win NL Central: Cubs & Cardinals Listed as Co-Favorites

The Chicago Cubs kicked off the 2018 MLB campaign amid high expectations after a hectic offseason which featured a flurry of signings, including pitchers Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, and Steve Cishek.
But a year that opened with such guarantee for the Cubs turned to a struggle for their postseason lives following injuries to Morrow Darvish, and third baseman Kris Bryant. Chicago’s dire situation was further complicated by late-season injuries to shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Jason Heyward, along with the club seemed to have little left in the tank since they stumbled through a 7-7 stretch streak on home gardening, capped by a 2-1 extra innings Wild Card loss to the Rockies at Wrigley Field to close out the season.
While the Cubs remained silent throughout the offseason, with the death of pitcher Jesse Chavez, and the addition of veteran utility infielder Daniel Descalsco and hired army Daniel Murphy indicating their biggest moves, the club should enjoy a direct benefit from enhanced health.
Darvish is set to make his return prior to seeing his 2018 year ended Jose Quintana, rejoining Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks, and by elbow surgery in what’s arguably the strongest rotation at the Majors, after making only eight appearances.

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