Cubs to face Strasburg on Opening Day


Cubs to face Strasburg on Opening Day

The Cubs will open the 2012 season against Stephen Strasburg, Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced Wednesday. Strasburg, 23, has only thrown 92 innings at the major-league level, but in those he has a 2.54 ERA and a 6.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's never faced the Cubs in 17 career starts.

In his career, Strasburg's fastball has averaged a velocity of just under 97 miles per hour. For reference, his fastball is, on average, 1.7 miles per hour faster than the average Justin Verlander fastball and 3.4 miles per hour faster than Matt Garza's heater, per Fangraphs. And he knows how to use that pitch -- only Cliff Lee and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey have had more success with their fastballs since 2010 than Strasburg.

Johnson also announced that lefty Gio Gonzalez will start the second game of Washington's three-game set to open the season at Wrigley Field. The third game will go to either Edwin Jackson or Jordan Zimmermann.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective


Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective

NBC Sports Chicago’s own Kelly Crull and videographer Scott Changnon recalled what All-Star week in the nations capitol was like from their point of view.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

What Chicago sports team is worth the most money in 2018?

As reported by Kurt Badenhausen in a Forbes article about the 50 richest teams around the globe, the Cubs are the most valuable organization in the Windy City.

Chicago’s North Side baseball team ranks as the 16th wealthiest team in the world, valued at $2.9 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2017. The Cubs are the third-most affluent franchise in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees ($4 billion) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3 billion).

This year, the baseball club owned by the Ricketts family surpassed the wealth of the Boston Red Sox ($2.8 billion), who the Cubs were ranked behind last season at $2.68 billion. In the span of a year, the North Siders gained two spots in the top 50 from 18 to 16 on the list.

What could be the reason for this increase?

Could it be that the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central? Or could it be the incredible performances from players like Jon Lester and Javy Baez?

Whatever the reason is for the Cubs’ prosperity, the team is doing something right.

The club also surpassed the Bears on the list this year. In 2017 the Bears (worth $2.7 billion last year) were tied with the Red Sox as the 16th most valuable sports team on Earth. The McCaskey-owned football team has fallen to a tie at 17 with the San Francisco Giants, both valued at $2.85 billion in 2018. The Bears even increased by 6 percent in the last year, making the Cubs’ jump seem greater.

The Bulls, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, are the last team from Chicago to make the cut. They stand at 23 in the top 50, tied with the Denver Broncos. Both franchises are worth $2.6 billion. Chicago’s NBA team even fell a spot from 2017, but they still increased their value by 4 percent (worth $2.5 billion last year).

The Bears are the seventh richest team in the NFL, while the Bulls are fourth wealthiest in the NBA.