Chicago Cubs Increase Lead at Top of 2016 World Series Futures

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The Chicago Cubs’ lead on the 2016 World Series odds resembles an astronaut’s view of earth seconds after blast-off, which means it’s a good time to point out that the team with the best record in Major League Baseball seldom wins it all in the fall.

Only six times in the past 30 years has the team with the most regular-season victories proceeded to win the World Series. Yet it is hard to not to be bullish on the Cubs, who have top odds to win the World Series at +325 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, well ahead of the Washington Nationals (+800), San Francisco Giants (+850), and Boston Red Sox (+900).

The Cubs have roughly twice as big a run differential as the next-most dominant National League team, Washington. Their top four starting pitchers, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jason Hammel, each have earned-run averages of fewer than 3.00, and deep starting pitching is a big advantage in the lower-scoring environment of postseason baseball.

The Giants have won the NL pennant and World Series in the last three even-numbered seasons (2010, ’12 and ’14). The Giants can match or surpass the front end of most teams’ starting pitching with LHP Madison Bumgarner and two tough RHP, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, a former Cub.

The Red Sox will have a fight for playoff position in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays (+1400) and Baltimore Orioles (+1800). Boston far and away leads MLB in runs scored with their pick-your-poison lineup of RF Mookie Betts, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Bogaerts, DH David Ortiz and 1B Hanley Ramirez.

The NL East’s 1A and 1B teams are the New York Mets (+1400) and the Nationals. The Mets are struggling to keep pace with the Nationals, but 2015 playoff pitching hero Matt Harvey is beginning to find his form after an awful start to the season.

The Nationals have shown good balance so far. Their 1-2 pitching punch of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are matching each other strikeout for strikeout, while 1B Ryan Zimmerman and 2B Daniel Murphy have consistently cashed in RBI opportunities when teams pitch around reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper.

The Texas Rangers, at +1000, have the second-best odds among AL teams. The Rangers lack star power, notwithstanding the table-setting from No. 2 hitter and CF Ian Desmond. Texas is outperforming their Pythagorean projection (a tool that predicts a team’s record based on run differential).

Their AL West rival, the Seattle Mariners, are now up to +1800 and have been winning games by large spreads thanks to a lineup built around 2B Robinson Cano and DH Nelson Cruz.

MLB games today: Schedule, start times, matchups, Peacock live stream info for today’s baseball games

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Toronto Blue Jays take on the Pittsburgh Pirates today at 12:00 PM ET on Peacock. See below for additional information on how to watch today’s Blue Jays vs Pirates matchup and the full Sunday schedule of games.

RELATED: MLB schedule 2022: Every Sunday morning baseball game on Peacock, matchups, what to know

What MLB games are on today?

(All times are listed as ET)

Blue Jays @ Pirates – 12:05 PM

Athletics @ Orioles – 1:35 PM

Rangers @ Red Sox – 1:35 PM

Marlins @ Braves – 1:35 PM

Rockies @ Reds – 1:40 PM

Royals @ Tigers – 1:40 PM

Nationals @ Mets – 1:40 PM

Yankees @ Rays – 1:40 PM

Twins @ White Sox – 2:10 PM

Cubs @ Cardinals – 2:15 PM

Mariners @ Guardians – 2:40 PM

Phillies @ Giants – 4:05 PM

Astros @ Angels – 4:07 PM

Brewers @ Diamondbacks – 4:10 PM

Padres @ Dodgers – 7:08 PM


How to watch Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • When: Sunday, September 4
  • Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Time: 12:00 p.m ET (live coverage begins at 11:30)
  • Live Stream: Watch live on Peacock

How to watch the MLB on Peacock:                           

Baseball is back and for the first time ever MLB games are coming to Peacock this May, featuring a total of 18 Sunday match ups. Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

In addition to MLB games, Peacock will also feature a new MLB hub which will include access to highlight packages and award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates live on Peacock: How to watch, stream, start time, TV channel for MLB Sunday Leadoff game

It's the Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday on Peacock! Find out how to watch/live stream the game!
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It’s the Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday, September 4 at 12:00 PM ET on Peacock. 18 MLB games will be featured on the streaming service this season. Live coverage begins at 11:30 a.m ET. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED: MLB teams to play all 29 opponents under ’23 balanced sked

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays currently sit third in the AL East which puts them in the third and final Wild Card spot if playoffs were to start today. The team has had to overcome a lot of challenges this season so far, including adjusting to interim manager John Schneider, after Toronto parted ways with manager Charlie Montoyo on July 13, but starting pitcher Ross Stripling says that the team has learned to bounce back in spite of adversity.

“I think the word that’s going to follow the 2022 Blue Jays for years to come is ‘streaky,’” Stripling told reporters at MLB.com. “We’ve had more highs and lows this year than any team I’ve been a part of. You won’t see us get too down, because after lows, we’ve had a lot of highs. I think we’re ready to start playing good baseball again.”

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates sit last in NL Central and have the third worst record in Major League Baseball. The team’s bullpen and rotation have struggled all season long and having a young roster has made it difficult for the Pirates to find their identity. Team General Manager Ben Cherington has made it clear that the Pirates will work to find long-term solutions to these struggles in the offseason.

“We understand going into this offseason that one of the ways going forward is to identify areas of the team where we have maybe what you’d call a black hole, where we’re just not getting enough production from this spot or these spots,” Cherington told reporters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s on us in baseball operations to find a way to solve that going into next year.”

RELATED: MLB schedule 2022: Every Sunday morning baseball game on Peacock, matchups, what to know


How to watch Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • When: Sunday, September 4
  • Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Time: 12:00 p.m ET (live coverage begins at 11:30)
  • Live Stream: Watch live on Peacock

How to watch the MLB on Peacock:                           

Baseball is back and for the first time ever MLB games are coming to Peacock this May, featuring a total of 18 Sunday match ups. Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

In addition to MLB games, Peacock will also feature a new MLB hub which will include access to highlight packages and award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive.