Odds on Which Number Cubs Will Retire Next

Odds on Which Number Cubs Will Retire Next
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason in Wrigleyville, with the Chicago Cubs making a handful of lower-level deals with MLB free agents to round out the team’s roster through the winter via trades and waiver claims. As the Cubbies look to snap their three-year postseason drought on the field and energize Illinois sports betting, it’s worth wondering which legends of old might be the next ones honored by the club off it.

It’s been more than a decade since the Cubs last retired a number, doing so in 2009 when they honored pitchers Greg Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins by retiring their No. 31.

As we churn towards spring training, IllinoisBet.com – your source for Illinois sportsbook promos - broke down the odds on which former Cubs could have their jersey number retired next.

Next Chicago Cubs Retired Number Odds

These are hypothetical odds from IllinoisBet.com you probably won’t find on any Illinois sports betting apps

NumberPlayerPct. ChanceOdds
34Jon Lester and Kerry Wood30.8%+225
21Sammy Sosa21.1%+375
46Lee Smith12.5%+700
44Anthony Rizzo9.1%+1000
17Mark Grace and Kris Bryant7.7%+1200


Current Chicago Cubs Retired Numbers

  • 14 Ernie Banks (Retired August 1982)
  • 26 Billy Williams (Retired August 1987) 
  • 42 Jackie Robinson (Retired throughout MLB in 1997) 
  • 10 Ron Santo (Retired September 2003) 
  • 23 Ryne Sandberg (Retired August 2005) 
  • 31 Greg Maddux & Ferguson Jenkins (Retired May 2009)

So, Who’s Next?

The odds-on leaders to be the next Cubs players to have their old number retired are starters Jon Lester and Kerry Wood, both of whom wore No. 34 in Chicago. Those two pitchers have +225 odds of seeing their old number retired next, which is fitting given how Lester was a key component of Chicago’s 2016 World Series squad and Wood’s prodigal talents paved the way for the Cubs to reach the NLCS in 2003.

Lester and Wood combined to win 157 games between them with the Cubs, with Wood posting a career WAR total of 25.5 with Chicago. Lester posted a 12.3 WAR. That on-field value and off-field marketability are part of the reason why both are co-listed at +225 to have their No. 34 retired by the Cubs, leading five other former Chicago players in terms of odds.

Both are well ahead of the next closest former Cub, outfielder Sammy Sosa, who has +375 odds to see his  21 retired. Hall of Fame closer Lee Smith (+700), first baseman Anthony Rizzo (+1000) and infielders Mark Grace and Kris Bryant (+1200) are the next closest on our list.

For now, the only odds that Cubs fans likely care about are Chicago’s World Series futures, which are currently listed at +2500 on ESPN BET Illinois, good for a tie for 10th with the New York Mets and ahead of the rest of the NL Central as the MLB offseason drags on. 

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at IllinoisBet.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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