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It's possible the Cubs of 2016 are never coming back. They don't have to return for Chicago to have a productive 2017, though. The World Series winning team of last year won 103 games, in large part because they began the season 25-6. Following that, through July 30, the Cubs were just 37-35 — even teams capable of posting an .800 winning percentage for a month can have stretches where they look like a .500 team. That lengthy .500-ish stretch didn't wreck them, though, as a 22-6 August solved that, and September brought them over 100 wins for the first since 1910.
Will the 2017 Cubs have a similar run at any point? They certainly could! After all, the 2016 team had two of them. Stretches like that where a team absolutely obliterates the competition for a month at a time aren't necessary, however. A few weeks into the season, the Cubs are 7-7. Their most significant competition, the Cardinals, are even worse off, at 5-9. The two teams ahead of the Cubs are the rebuilding Reds, who are off to a good start but one likely to be forgotten about, and the Brewers, who could definitely surprise if >Eric Thames remains fantastic
>Eric Thames remains fantastic, but are not equipped as well as the Cubs are for success.
Throw in that the Pirates just lost Starling Marte to
>an 80-game PED suspension
>an 80-game PED suspension, and the only other expected rival for a playoff spot in the division just got a whole lot weaker.
>It's early. The Cubs are .500. They played .500 ball for months at a time in 2016, however, and still managed to win over 100 games and eventually, a World Series championship. No one knows if Chicago is going to repeat either of those feats this year, but the time to worry about that isn't a little more than halfway through April. They've still got the lineup, they've still got the pitching, and they've still got 148 games left on the schedule.
- MLB is thinking about giving umpires a mic to explain why an instant replay challenge was decided the way it was,
>which sounds like a big ole waste of time.
- You should probably just watch
>this weird (and great) playby Adrian Gonzalez, who somehow holds onto a flip from Hyun-jin Ryu to nab the runner at first.
- This kid had a wonderful reaction when
>his parents surprised him with Cubs tickets.
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- Patrick Dubuque takes a look at
>how pitchers should attackbaseball's weakest hitters.
- Josh Harrison got hit by a pitch four times in a row, and thankfully,
eff Sullivan noticed.
- Astros' mascot Orbit
layed a prank on Mike Trout, but Trout and the Angels got the last laugh.
- It was
baseball-heavy episode of Jeopardyon Tuesday.
- Aaron Judge is as important to the Yankees as he is big, and
h by the way Aaron Judge is pretty big
Source : http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2017/4/19/15354860/cubs-nl-central-how-will-they-ever-rebound