World Series odds: Vegas hasn't lost faith in Cubs

World Series odds: Vegas hasn't lost faith in Cubs

Despite their sub-par first half of the season, Vegas hasn't lost faith in the Cubs.

According to Bovada, the Cubs have an 8-to-1 odds to win the World Series this year, along with their 2016 opponent, the Cleveland Indians.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are favored at 7-to-2, followed by the Houston Astros (17-to-4), Boston Red Sox (6-to-1), and Washington Nationals (7-to-1).

At the All-Star break, the Cubs (43-45) are 5.5 games back of the division leading Milwaukee Brewers (50-41). Of the Cubs' 74 remaining games of the regular season, 71 percent of them are against opponents which are currently below .500. 

The Cubs will also be well-rested with Wade Davis having been the only North Sider to participate in the All-Star festivities in Miami. 

So will the Cubs finally turn it around in the second half of the season?

Watch what the SportsTalk Live panel had to say in the video above.

White Sox are taking over the All-Star Futures Game

White Sox are taking over the All-Star Futures Game

Yoan Moncada stole the show at last year's All-Star Futures Game by winning the MVP award.

This time around he'll try to do the same thing, but donning a different uniform.

MLB's No. 1 prospect who was the key piece that came over to the White Sox from the Red Sox in last offseason's blockbuster Chris Sale trade, was one of three White Sox prospects named to the 2017 Futures Game which takes place in Miami on July 9.

Moncada will play for the World Team, while pitcher Michael Kopech (another player in the Sale deal) and catcher Zack Collins are on the United States roster.

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Moncada, who was also named to the International League All-Star Team earlier Thursday morning, is third in the IL in runs (50), and tied for fourth in stolen bases (15). He is slashing .280/.377/.455 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in his first season in the White Sox organization.

The 21-year-old Kopech has started 14 games with the Birmingham Barons this season and has a 3.38 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 72 innings.

Collins, the No. 10 overall pick out of Miami in the 2016 MLB Draft, has belted 10 home runs and has 29 RBI in 69 games with Winston-Salem in 2017. Collins also leads the Carolina League with 56 walks this season.

The White Sox are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros for having the most representatives (3) in this year's Futures Game.

Kerry Wood ends the debate: 20-strikeout game's hit was legit

Kerry Wood ends the debate: 20-strikeout game's hit was legit

While no one debates that on May 6, 1998, Kerry Wood completed one of the finest pitching performances in MLB history, Wood said Friday that the lone hit he allowed in his 20-strikeout game - that could have been ruled an error - was legitimate.

The rookie, making his sixth career start, struck out 20 batters, allowed just one hit and went the distance in a 2-0 Cubs victory. Wood needed 122 pitches to slice through the Astros lineup, which included a pair of future Hall of Famers in Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

But it's that lone hit - a seemingly meaningless Ricky Gutierrez single in the top of the 3rd - that some Cubs fans still debate to this day. Gutierrez, batting 7th, took a Wood pitch and grounded it in between third base and shortstop. Third baseman Kevin Orie ranged to his left on the well struck ball, and it caromed off his glove into left field.

Gutierrez got to third base on a sacrifice bunt and later on a Wood balk, though Wood got Biggio to ground out to end the inning.

There's some thought that Orie's stab at the grounder - a diving attempt could have stopped the ball - could have been ruled an error. It wound up being the only hit Wood gave up that day, and a ruling of an error would have given the 20-year-old a no-hitter.

But Wood, filling in Friday for Jim DeShaies on the CSN broadcast of Cubs-Brewers, put the debate to rest.

"Hit all the way, as soon as I saw it," Wood said. "Never crossed my mind that that was an error or they were going to give him an error. Never glanced at the scoreboard. It was a hit all the way."

There you go. Case closed.

Also, Wood was of course impressed with striking out 20 batters in a single game. But to him, walking zero batters on an Astros team that led the league in on-base percentage was what impressed him most. Check out the entire interview in the video above.