The Chicago Cubs will be the defending champions when the 2017 Major League Baseball season gets underway, but Shane Lambert thinks there is a huge priced value bet for the World Series.
The Chicago Cubs lost Dexter Fowler to free agency over the offseason. That can't be taken as a be-all-and-end-all thing with the reigning World Series champs due to their pitching depth and other factors. However, if you take a look at Fowler's game log last season then it's pretty clear that the Cubs' chemistry could be shaken up.
Chicago fans will remember that Fowler played in 125 regular season games in 2016. A lot of the missing games were from a period between June 19 and July 21 when Fowler had a hamstring problem. The Cubs played .640 baseball on the season last year, but there was a significant lull that is strongly correlated with Fowler's injury. In games played betweem between June 19 and July 21 inclusive, the Cubs only went 11-17 and the timeframe included a ten-game period where they only won a single game.
Fowler was Chicago's lead-off hitter and he played centerfield. Lead-off hitters get more at-bats than anyone and centerfielders with great wheels kill a lot of doubles and triples. When Fowler's OPS was missing at the plate, when his speed was missing on the basepaths, and when his speed was missing in centerfield the Cubs actually sucked in 2016. The Cubs can still replace Fowler, however, it certainly won't be easy.
Odds of $1.50 are available with MarathonBet
on the Cubs NOT to win the NLCS and that's a good line to add to any parlays you might be interested in with the site. In and of itself, it's not a great line to take in a single because you'd have to pound it hard with a far away settle date.
However, if you have any other futures bets with the site, consider mixing in the Cubbies to return to their losing ways. For starters, you can add Novak Djokovic not to win the French Open in what looks like a safe bet at $1.48 (Djokovic has mostly struggled since winning the tournament in 2016).
For those that want to bet a winner instead of a 'loveable loser' then consider this adage: it's a zero-sum world. What's bad for one team is good for another and the team that now has Fowler is arch-rival St Louis. The Cardinals played .531 baseball last season and they have to know more than most teams how valuable Fowler was.
Look for St Louis to be more dangerous in 2017 and, building on last year's winning percentage, it won't take a lot of improvement to get the Cards into the playoffs. William Hill
have St Louis at $26.00 for the World Series, a more than fair price to take take each-way.
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