The Chicago Cubs are best known for not winning. They were established in 1876 and won their first World Series in 1907 and successfully defended it in 1908. But then the drought started. They won the 1910 National League pennant but lost in the World Series, and suffered the same fate in 1918, '29, '32, '35, '38, and '45. That was their last pennant for generations, as the Cubs struggled through the 50's all the way to the 80's when they finally claimed 2 division titles but failed to make the World Series. They won the Central Division three times in the 2000's, including in 2003 when their playoffs turned on the famous Steve Bartman play.
The Cubs finally returned to the World Series in 2016 and turned around a 3-1 deficit to win in emotional fashion in Cleveland behind an MVP performance from Ben Zobrist. With the century-long drought finally over the Cubs have become a perennial contender for the World Series and are hell-bent on adding to their trophy cabinet.
*All stats correct at time of writing
The Show 19 doesn't give you a single OVR for the team like other sports games, instead you get a ranking with which to see where the team is compared to the rest of the Majors. The Cubs rank 3rd in The Show 19, and this is thanks to their #1 defense ranking and their #4 power. The Cubs worst ranking is their speed, but even that is 17th.
The Cubs also have a lot of money. With an enormous team budget of $234.5 million they can throw big contracts at their best young players to hold onto them and pick up free agents to keep the team competitive. Who are those pieces you will want to build around in the short- to medium-term?
Kris Bryant, Third Base (96 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$12.9 million + 2 years Arbitration
Secondary Position: 1B, LF, CF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Extreme Pull
Best Stats: Contact vs L (96), Durability (90), Power vs L (89), Discipline (88), Arm Strength (79)
The Chicago Cubs took Kris Bryant second-overall in the 2013 MLB draft and he flew through the Minor Leagues, making his MLB debut in 2015, playing 151 games with a .275 average, 26 homers, 99 RBI and taking home Rookie of the Year honors. He followed up that All-Star campaign with 39 homers, a .292 average and the NL MVP award as he helped the Cubs finally claim the World Series title.
In The Show 19 Bryant crushes left-handed pitching. Not only does he have terrific contact against lefties (96) but his power (89) is superb too. He has the durability (90) to play regularly and solid arm strength (79) to throw out runners at first. He has good discipline (88) to avoid too many strikeouts too.
Javier Baez, Shortstop (91 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$5.2 million + 2 years Arbitration
Secondary Position: 2B, 3B, CF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Durability (98), Contact vs L (89), Fielding (86), Arm Strength (86), Reaction (84), Power vs L (82), Speed (78)
Javier Baez was a ninth-overall pick for the Cubs in the 2011 draft and like Bryant he was soon in the Majors. He got his debut in 2014, playing 52 games with a shocking .169 average and nine homers while playing ok defense. By 2016 Baez was playing plus-defense at shortstop and hitting well at the plate, with a .273 average and 14 homers. In 2018 he found a power stroke, hitting 34 homers and still playing well in the field.
In The Show 19 Baez is another lefty-killer. His contact (89) and power (82) against them is terrific for a shortstop and he isn't bad against righties either (contact 72, power 70). Baez is a very good fielder (86) with the reaction (84) to get across to balls in the hole and the arm strength (86) to still generate outs.
Brandon Morrow, Closing Pitcher (90 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$10.5 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter, Slider, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Velocity (92), HR/9 (84), H/9 (84), BB/9 (77), Clutch (75), K/9 (75), Break (74)
Brandon Morrow was a fifth-overall pick for the Seattle Mariners back in 2006. He got his debut for the Mariners in 2007 in the bullpen in 2007, but in 2009 he was starting some games, posting a 4.39 ERA in 26 games with 10 starts. He moved to Toronto in 2010 and was immediately put into their rotation, pitching inconsistently. After a brief stint in the Padres rotation he was moved to the bullpen and played well for the Dodgers in 2017 before moving into the closer role for the 2018 Cubs, picking up 22 saves with a 1.47 ERA.
In The Show 19 Morrow is a good option at closer. He has the velocity (92) to blow hitters away and can control homers (84) and hits (84) against him pretty well. He doesn't have elite break (74) on his slider but it is a nice pitch to work off his 98 mph 4-seam fastball. Morrow is solid in the clutch (75) too which helps here.
Chicago Cubs MLB Roster
Be aware that there can be some minor fluctuations between saves in player OVR, however the basic stats all remain the same. We will start with our look at the Cubs roster with their position players before moving onto the rotation and bullpen.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Kris Bryant||96||27||3B||R||96 (L)||89 (L)||69||67|
|Javier Baez||91||26||SS||R||89 (L)||82 (L)||86||78|
|Ben Zobrist||89||37||2B||S||90 (L)||58 (R)||74||43|
|Anthony Rizzo||85||29||1B||L||80 (R)||73 (R)||74||26|
|Kyle Schwarber||82||26||LF||L||50 (R)||92 (R)||70||50|
|Willson Contreras||81||26||C||R||71 (L)||61 (L)||71||58|
|Jason Heyward||79||29||RF||L||62 (R)||46 (R)||81||58|
|Albert Almora Jr||76||24||CF||R||86 (L)||45 (L)||70||62|
|Daniel Descalso||73||32||2B||L||58 (R)||56 (L)||64||45|
|Addison Russell||69||25||SS||R||59 (L)||60 (L)||85||56|
|Ian Happ||69||24||CF||S||56 (R)||76 (R)||59||59|
|David Bote||67||25||3B||R||67 (L)||60 (L)||71||61|
|Victor Caratini||67||25||C||S||50 (R)||38 (R)||60||28|
|Carl Edwards Jr||84||27||RP||R||24||43||81||99|
The Cubs MLB roster has 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That roster is made up of a 5-man rotation and 7 relievers, including the closers, along with a 5-man bench for your lineup.
The Cubs lineup is full of quality hitters. Kris Bryant (contact L 96, power L 89), Anthony Rizzo (contact R 80, power R 73), and Javier Baez (contact L 89, power L 82) are the core for you to build around, while the likes of Ben Zobrist (contact L 90, contact R 88), Kyle Schwarber (power R 92, power L 70), and Jason Heyward (vision 80, contact R 62) are the support players that can keep the runs flowing.
In the field Zobrist's versatility (2B, SS, OF) allows some flexibility and means you can rest players in a rotation while Heyward (fielding 81), Baez (fielding 86), and Addison Russell (fielding 85) are your ideal defensive subs late in games.
The starting rotation features two righties in Kyle Hendricks (stamina 87, break 87) and Yu Darvish (break 90, stamina 84) and a trio of lefties with veteran Jon Lester (stamina 88, break 79), Cole Hamels (stamina 88, break 83), and Jose Quintana (stamina 86, velocity 73). None of them are flamethrowers that will blow hitters away with velocity, but they are all very solid and reliable pitchers that can go deep into games.
They don't have a sixth starter waiting to go, but Mike Montgomery (break 88, stamina 56) is the long reliever in the bullpen if you need to fill in a few starts. The Cubs have a nice bullpen with some reliable arms. Steve Cishek (break 99, velocity 65) and Pedro Strop (break 99, velocity 88) are your best bridge arms to the closer Brandon Morrow (velocity 92, break 74). Brad Batch (velocity 76, break 74) and Carl Edwards Jr (break 99, velocity 81) are also useful arms.
MLB The Show 19 gives you four lineups to set. These are against right-handed starters with or without the DH and against left-handed starters with or without the DH. As the Cubs are in the National League your usual lineups will be the ones without the DH.
Against righties without the DH The Show 19 puts Ben Zobrist at 2B in the leadoff spot followed by CF Albert Almora Jr, 3B Kris Bryant, SS Javier Baez, 1B Anthony Rizzo, LF Kyle Schwarber, C Willson Contreras, SP Kyle Hendricks (or whoever is starting that day) and RF Jason Heyward. Against a lefty the only change is to bump Schwarber below Contreras. With the DH The Show 19 puts Ian Happ into the #8 spot against righties and David Bote against lefties. This is a solid lineup to use, but you can make some improvements.
The biggest change we have made to the lineup is to promote Anthony Rizzo to the #2 spot vs righties. With 80 contact and 73 power he is a good player to get extra at-bats against right-handed starters, and can get on-base for Kris Bryant and Javier Baez to bat in. Kyle Schwarber has also been moved up from #6 to #5 thanks to that 92 power vs right-handed pitchers while Albert Almora Jr has been moved to #6. With the DH we have put Ian Happ at #7 ahead of Contreras and Heyward.
Against lefties we have left Almora Jr in the #2 spot as he has a nice 86 contact vs lefties. We have put Schwarber at 6 and moved Heyward up to #7 as we have put the backup catcher Victor Caratini in against lefties at #9, this is so we can keep Contreras fresh and not have to worry about making day-to-day switches so much. Happ retains his DH status against lefties.
The farm system can be inconsistent in MLB The Show 19. There are variations in both OVR and potential from save to save that can throw off the ability to plan your team's future. There is also a lack of some real life prospects. The likes of Miguel Amaya and Nico Hoerner are not in the game. However, there are some useful players within the Cubs farm system that could be cornerstones of the Major League club in future seasons.
Richie Handy, Starting Pitcher (75 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter, Slider, Changeup
Best Stats: Stamina (85), Arm Strength (84), Velocity (78), HR/9 (73), Clutch (67)
Richie Handy is a strong starting pitcher prospect. He is just 18 and already has great stamina (85) and solid velocity (78). With B potential and a 75 OVR already he can provide innings for the Major League club soon. Handy has a nice 4-pitch repertoire with a 4-seam fastball, cutter, slider, and changeup that can baffle hitters as his break (63) improves.
Mauricio Calderon, Right Fielder (74 OVR)
Secondary Position: LF, CF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Stealing (80), Baserunning Aggressiveness (80), Speed (78), Clutch (75), Contact vs L (74), Power vs L (73)
Mauricio Calderon may only have D potential but at 74 OVR at just 21 he could still develop we.. He has good ability on the basepaths (80) and the speed (78) to be a solid fielder (47) eventually. He's already impressive against lefties (contact 74, power 73) and can hit righties ok.
Demetrius Elliott, Starting Pitcher (73 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter, Slider, Changeup
Best Stats: Stamina (96), Velocity (83), Arm Strength (80), Break (68), K/9 (66)
Another starting pitcher prospect is Demetrius Elliott. The righty has outstanding stamina (96) and good velocity (83). His control (48) is poor but that can develop with time as he is still just 18 years old. His break (68) is ok and he can use that to make his slider effective too. He has the same 4 pitches as Handy which can really hurt a hitter.