Cubs overwhelming favorite for 2017 World Series futures

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No team has won back-to-back World Series since the turn of the millennium, but the Chicago Cubs are favored to do so after ending their 108-year drought earlier this month.

The Cubs opened 2016 at the top of the board and delivered by winning three elimination games in a row to defeat the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs will return almost all of their nucleus except for free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman, so it is no surprise that Chicago is at the top of the 2017 World Series odds at +350 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With utilityman Javier Baez, 3B Kris Bryant, 1B Anthony Rizzo, SS Addison Russell and LF Kyle Schwarber all in their peak years, Chicago is well set up to be postseason regulars for years on end.

Only the 1998-2000 New York Yankees have gone back-to-back during the 22-season postseason history of the wild-card era. The afterglow of the Cubs winning has probably inflated the prices for other contenders. The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are each listed at +900.

The Red Sox will have five everyday players who will age 28 or younger next season and are rumored to be the landing spot for free-agent DH Edwin Encarnacion, who has turned down a qualifying offer from the rival Toronto Blue Jays.

The Dodgers won the NL West last season even though ace LHP Clayton Kershaw missed a third of the season, so clearly their ceiling could be even higher than last season’s 91 wins.

The Washington Nationals are listed at +1200, on the presumption that they might eventually have a bullpen to buttress the star power of RF Bryce Harper and RHP Max Scherzer.

Washington’s prospectus will change if they go against their emphasis on starting pitching and get in on the bidding war for one of the four prized free-agent closers – Chapman, Greg Holland, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon.

Despite coming within one run of winning the World Series, Cleveland is listed at +1400 along with Toronto, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants.

It seems strange to see the New York Yankees well down the board at +2500, but the Yankees are still in belt-tightening mode and are unlikely to add more payroll.

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.