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How 2024 Orioles compare to 2016 World Series-winning Cubs - ESPN

The Baltimore Orioles, with Gunnar Henderson blasting home runs to lead the majors' best offense and Corbin Burnes contending for a Cy Young Award, are reminiscent of the 2016 Chicago Cubs — and we do not make that comparison lightly. That Cubs team, after all, became one of the most famous in baseball history when it ended a 108-year championship drought by winning Game 7 of the World Series in extra innings.

The Orioles' drought extends only to 1983, a mere 41 years, so Orioles fans have decades to go to match the suffering of Cubs fans. Like the 2016 Cubs, however, the Orioles are a powerhouse team, strong in all facets of the game and constructed around a dynamic young core that suggests, even if a World Series title doesn't happen this season, they should be in the running for titles for years to come.

There's no guarantee of that happening, of course. The Cubs somewhat surprisingly never came close to matching their dominant 2016 season, when they won 104 games. They did reach the NLCS the following season and made the playoffs in 2018, but they missed it in 2019 because of a late-season fade. And by 2021, they were trading off those young stars of the 2016 team and rebuilding.

Baltimore has one problem that the Cubs didn't have in 2016: American League East rival New York Yankees. The Cubs cruised to a division title and were already leading the National League Central by 10 games at this date on the calendar that year.

Still, there are a lot of similarities between the two clubs. Ahead of Baltimore's matchup against the reigning champion Texas Rangers on «Sunday Night Baseball» (7 p.m. ET), let's dig into some of those and see what they tell us about the future of the 2024 Orioles and their World Series