The Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros rivalry! While not as renowned as some other MLB rivalries, these two teams have had their fair share of intense matchups and memorable moments.
From the Cubs’ historic Wrigley Field and long-awaited 2016 World Series victory to the Astros’ success in 2017, this rivalry has seen passionate fanbases and iconic players take the field.
In this exploration, we delve into the history, notable matchups, and connections between these franchises. Join us as we uncover the compelling stories that have shaped the Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros rivalry in the world of Major League Baseball.
History: Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros
Establishment and Early Years
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs were founded in 1870 and are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB).
They have a rich history and are known for playing in iconic Wrigley Field, located in Chicago, Illinois.
The Cubs have appeared in multiple World Series and won three championships in 1907, 1908, and 2016.
Houston Astros: The Astros were established in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s before changing their name to the Astros in 1965 when they moved to the Astrodome, becoming the first indoor domed sports stadium. They won their first and only World Series title in 2017.
Championships and Postseason Success
Chicago Cubs: Prior to their 2016 World Series victory, the Cubs endured a long championship drought that lasted over a century, earning them the “lovable losers” tag.
They made multiple postseason appearances but faced heartbreak in the playoffs on several occasions.
Houston Astros: The Astros had a relatively shorter wait for their first World Series title.
They achieved their first postseason success in the 1980s, reaching the National League Championship Series (NLCS) but didn’t make it to the World Series until their championship victory in 2017. They have since made additional playoff appearances.
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, one of the most beloved and iconic ballparks in baseball.
It is known for its ivy-covered outfield walls, hand-operated scoreboard, and a unique neighborhood feel.
Houston Astros: The Astros played at the historic Astrodome until 1999 and then moved to Minute Maid Park (formerly known as Enron Field).
Minute Maid Park features a retractable roof and a train above the left-field wall that moves whenever the Astros hit a home run.
Notable Players and Achievements
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have a rich history of Hall of Fame players, including Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, and Billy Williams.
In recent years, they had standout players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Báez.
Houston Astros: The Astros have had legendary players like Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Nolan Ryan, who played a significant role in the team’s success over the years.
Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros
The Cubs’ fanbase is known as “Cubs Nation” and is one of the most loyal and devoted fanbases in Major League Baseball (MLB).
The team’s history, iconic Wrigley Field, and the long-awaited 2016 World Series victory have contributed to their large and dedicated following.
Cubs fans are renowned for their resilience and unwavering support, even during periods of struggle and championship droughts that lasted over a century.
Wrigley Field, with its nostalgic charm and unique neighborhood setting, is a pilgrimage site for baseball fans across the country, attracting tourists and die-hard supporters alike.
The Astros have a passionate local fanbase in Houston, Texas, who support their team through thick and thin.
The team’s move to the American League and their subsequent success, including their World Series victory in 2017, helped boost their popularity and attract new fans.
While the Astros have a dedicated following, their reputation faced some challenges following the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, which impacted their image among some baseball fans outside of Houston.
Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros Rivalry
There have been a few memorable moments and matchups between the two teams.
Here are some of the iconic moments in their rivalry
National League Wild Card Game (October 6, 2015)
In 2015, the Cubs and Astros faced off in the National League Wild Card Game. It was a dramatic and closely contested game, with the Cubs prevailing over the Astros in a 4-0 shutout victory.
This victory marked the Cubs’ first step on their journey to eventually win the World Series in 2016.
It was a pivotal moment in the Cubs’ recent success and highlighted the emergence of their young core of talented players.
Jake Arrieta’s No-hitter (August 30, 2015)
During the 2015 season, when Jake Arrieta was pitching for the Chicago Cubs, he threw a no-hitter against the Houston Astros. Arrieta dominated the Astros’ lineup, leading the Cubs to a 2-0 victory.
This impressive performance was one of the defining moments in Arrieta’s historic Cy Young-winning season.
Chicago Cubs’ First World Series Title in Over a Century (2016)
Although not directly related to the rivalry with the Astros, the Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series victory in 2016 was a significant moment for the franchise and its fans.
The Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling seven-game series to capture their first World Series title since 1908.
This victory put an end to the infamous “Curse of the Billy Goat” and further solidified the Cubs’ place in baseball history.
Iconic Player Matchups
Throughout the years, there have been several exciting player matchups when the Cubs and Astros faced each other. These matchups often featured star players from both teams, adding an extra layer of excitement to the games.
Future Outlook: Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros
After their 2016 World Series victory, the Cubs underwent significant changes, parting ways with key players and management personnel. With a focus on rebuilding, the Cubs face a challenging road ahead.
Their roster now features a mix of experienced veterans and young talent, but they lack the star power of their championship years.
To compete in the highly competitive NL Central and regain postseason contention, the Cubs must develop their young prospects and make strategic moves in the free-agent market.
Patience and careful planning will be essential for their return to prominence.
The Astros, in contrast, have maintained a core group of elite players and have been consistent contenders in the AL West. Despite losing some key pieces, they remain a formidable force.
Led by experienced stars like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Zack Greinke, the Astros have continued to perform at a high level.
Their prospect pool, though not among the league’s strongest, still boasts promising talents.
The Astros’ commitment to player development and the retention of their core should keep them in the hunt for division titles and postseason success in the foreseeable future.
Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros
Game 1: Astros 7, Cubs 6
The Cubs held a commanding lead with a 6-1 advantage heading into the later innings.
Astros made a thrilling comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring four runs to secure the victory.
Astros’ star player Alex Bregman had a standout performance, going 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs.
Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki was a bright spot, going 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs.
Game 2: Astros 7, Cubs 3
The Astros tied the game in the second inning and then broke the tie with a five-run fifth inning.
Jonathan France pitched six solid innings for the Astros, allowing three runs and striking out six.
Ian Happ hit a two-run homer for the Cubs in the first inning.
Chicago Cubs Vs Houston Astros Rivalry
|2021||June 8||Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||5 – 3|
|2020||July 23||Minute Maid Park||Houston Astros||4 – 2|
|2019||August 14||Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||7 – 1|
|2018||May 30||Minute Maid Park||Houston Astros||3 – 0|
|2017||September 9||Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||6 – 5 (10)|
|2016||June 12||Minute Maid Park||Houston Astros||2 – 1|
|2015||April 25||Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||4 – 3|
|2014||August 21||Minute Maid Park||Houston Astros||5 – 2|
|2013||July 7||Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||8 – 6|
|2012||May 18||Minute Maid Park||Houston Astros||3 – 2|
When did the Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros rivalry begin?
The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros dates back to the Astros’ move to the National League in 1962. However, it has not been as historically significant as some other MLB rivalries.
How many World Series titles have the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros won in their history?
The Chicago Cubs have won three World Series titles (1907, 1908, and 2016), while the Houston Astros have won one World Series title (2017).
Which ballpark is known for its ivy-covered outfield walls and hand-operated scoreboard in the rivalry?
Wrigley Field, the home stadium of the Chicago Cubs, is renowned for its ivy-covered outfield walls and hand-operated scoreboard, adding to its iconic charm.
Have the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros faced each other in any memorable playoff matchups?
Yes, one notable playoff matchup was the National League Wild Card Game in 2015. The Cubs won the game 4-0, marking a crucial step in their journey to winning the World Series in 2016.
Are there any legendary players who have played for both the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros?
Yes, one of the most notable players to have played for both teams is pitcher Greg Maddux. He played for the Cubs in 1986 and returned to Chicago for a successful stint from 2004 to 2006. Maddux also joined the Astros for the 2006 season during his illustrious career.
While the Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros rivalry may not be as historically significant as some other MLB rivalries, it has produced memorable moments and connections over the years.
Both teams boast passionate fanbases, and their matchups have occasionally featured iconic players and playoff excitement.
The Cubs’ victory in the 2015 National League Wild Card Game and their long-awaited 2016 World Series triumph added to the rivalry’s story.
With their unique ballparks and dedicated followings, the Cubs and Astros continue to contribute to the vibrant tapestry of baseball.
As they compete in their respective divisions, the potential for more compelling moments and memorable clashes remains a thrilling prospect.