2015: 1 – Chicago Cubs, 2 – Boston Red Sox, 3 – Minnesota Twins, 23 – Seattle Mariners
The Cubbies! So many years of pain, despair, and disappointment. Seeing division rivals have success, from the Cardinals to the Reds to the Pirates, even the Brewers had been to the World Series. It seemed like a new horizon was dawning though, large thanks in part to Theo Epstein, the young phenom who was also responsible for a lot of the success in Boston.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Schwarber. All young, all talented, and all making an impact nearly right away. Just take a look at their Baseball Reference page and you can see how young they were on offense. Back to the Future was just a bit off, and the Cubs would actually lose in the NLCS, being swept by the Mets.
2016 would be their year, as they would have one of the winningest years in team history, getting to 103 wins. It would also be the year we would see one of the greatest game sevens, not just in baseball, but any sport in history.
In Cleveland, amidst a delay, after blowing a three-run lead in the 8th, it seemed like the curse of the cubbies was going to continue. Instead, they would score two in the top of the 10th, and just barely hold on, winning the world series. The Cubs are one of the best examples of building a team from the bottom up much as the Royals did in 2011 with the top-ranked farm system.
We already touched on the Sox and the Twins, nothing has changed there. The Mariners would be back under .500… surprise and the farm system dropped into the bottom third of the MLB. At the end of the season, Jerry Dipoto was hired as the new general manager so he will look to turn the ship in the right direction.