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The Significance of a Hot Start for the 2020 Chicago Cubs

A hot start in 2020 is vital for the Cubs in the standings and from a roster construction standpoint.
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The 2018 season was a letdown. The 2019 season was a disappointment. This offseason has been beyond underwhelming.

Sensing a trend?

Cubs' fans have been left with their hands over their face for what seems like an eternity. 2016 seems lightyears away. The dreams of a dynasty are just that, dreams.

That being said, it is of the utmost importance that the 2020 Chicago Cubs have a great first half. Take a look at the Cubs' first-half records after their 2016 Championship.

  • 2017: 43-45
  • 2018: 55-38
  • 2019: 47-43
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In 2017, the Cubs finished almost 25 games over .500 in the second half to win the division. In 2018, the Brewers were an unstoppable force in the second half, which led to a Cubs collapse down the stretch. Last season, the Cubs played around .500 ball both halves of the season and failed to make the playoffs.

In order to be in the best position to make the playoffs come the dog days of summer, any team needs to bust out of the gates hot. In the last two seasons, the Cubs have seemingly choked under the pressure of a divisional race. They will begin the 2020 season with four of their first five series against divisional opponents. David Ross needs to let his presence be known.

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

More importantly, a successful first half will lead to this core remaining together. Should the Cubs come out slow and finish around .500, you bet your bottom dollar Theo will be shedding payroll. This front office is looking for any sliver of a reason to get under the luxury tax. Anything but the top of the NL Central standings will lead to some of your favorite players finishing the remainder of the season in different uniforms. Coming out slow will lead to the end of an era of Chicago Cubs baseball.

If Theo is forced to sell off players, you can imagine the murmurs of him leaving town will also grow louder. He has long said one should remain in an organization for around ten years. Theo signed on with the Cubs in 2011, so objects in mirror are closer than they appear, folks. The end could be near for the most successful front office member in Cubs' history as well.

All that being said, 2020 is when the NL Central remembers that the lovable losers tag left when a World Series trophy entered 1060 West Addison. The Cubs need to come out of the gates ready to play. David Ross has changed the culture and there is no reason to think the Cubbies won't be ready to rock come Opening Day.