Craig Kimbrel Signing Boosts Cubs’ World Series Chances

Craig Kimbrel Signing Boosts Cubs’ World Series Chances article feature image
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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Craig Kimbrel.

  • By signing Craig Kimbrel, the Cubs' World Series odds have moved from 12-1 to 10-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

After a lengthy winter vacation for Craig Kimbrel, the All-Star closer finally has a new home. With the MLB Draft out of the way, a handful of teams were interested in signing Kimbrel to bolster their bullpen, but the Cubs came out on top with their 3-year offer.

As a result, their World Series odds have gone from 12-1 to 10-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. This gives them the second-best odds in the National League behind the Dodgers and fifth-best odds in the majors.

The Cubbies are leading the NL Central, but it’s a tight race, as every team in the division is within six games.

With Brandon Morrow sidelined with an elbow injury, Chicago’s bullpen is kind of on the thin side. However, it’s performed quite well as a whole, posting the sixth-lowest bullpen ERA in the league. Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop, who missed most of May with an injury, have essentially split the work as closer, with six and five saves, respectively.

Eleven saves between the two primary closers isn’t exactly a mind-boggling number at this point of the season, though. While the Cubs’ cumulative bullpen ERA is solid, they also rank second in the league with 12 blown saves. Thirteen saves, 12 blown saves. Not a terrific ratio for a World Series contender.

Kimbrel will likely help that cause, though it probably won’t be for a couple more weeks while he pitches in some minor league games and gets prepared.

With Morrow expected to return in the second half of the season, the Cubs could have a much deeper bullpen with a couple of top-end arms that they’ve fared well without up to this point.