The Chicago Cubs did not look like repeat NL Central champs for much of 2017. The 2016 World Series winners experienced a championship hangover of the highest degree, stumbling throughout most of the season thanks to underperformance and nagging injuries to key players. Key acquisitions were made, namely lefty starter Jose Quintana from the crosstown rival White Sox, but that the Cubs finished 92-70 and made it to the NLCS after fighting for the NL Central crown until the final week of the season seems miraculous.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein thus took the bull by the horns this offseason and added two key arms to the rotation, making Chicago look like a team to beat once again. However, that all depends on if the key players can stay fresh.