The 2015 Chicago Cubs are in the process of transitioning from lovable losers into playoff contenders. Under the leadership of general manager Theo Epstein, Chicago has been aggressive in its international scouting and in free agency. Chicago won the bidding sweepstakes for Jon Lester and signed him to a $155 million contract. Lester, who has won three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox, went 16-11 with a 2.48 ERA last season. Lester has made his mark during the postseason. In 12 post-season starts, Lester boasts a 2.57 ERA. Epstein also brought ex-Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon to the Windy City. Under Maddon’s leadership, Tampa Bay was an annual playoff contender despite financial limitations. Maddon will not be restricted by financial limitations anymore in Chicago.
Chicago’s lineup boasts an array of young, talented hitters, but first baseman Anthony Rizzo is quickly turning into the face of the franchise. Only 25-years-old, Rizzo posted career highs in home runs and batting average last season. Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro are two of the better young players in baseball, but inconsistent performances have stymied their growth. Both players will need to step-up if Chicago wants to make the playoffs during the 2015 season. Fans are anxiously anticipating the debut of uber-prospect, third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant hit 43 total home runs in Double-A and Triple-A last season.
On TicketIQ, the average price on the secondary market for Cubs Opening Day tickets is $214.62 while the get-in price is $89. This is the highest single-game ticket price on Chicago’s schedule. Chicago’s season average ticket price is $78.78. Last season, Cubs tickets had an average price of $70.17, marking a 12.2% increase to 2015.
Chicago is in the process of building its roster to compete against the divisional powers in the NL Central. St. Louis and Pittsburgh have the best rosters in the NL Central, but Chicago has the talent to jump ahead of Milwaukee. Chicago may be a season away from competing for the NL Central division crown, but the new faces should make this season very entertaining.