Take two aspirin before processing these head-spinning facts about the Cubs' World Series hangover


World Series hangovers have been a narrative for decades in baseball and for good reason: It's damn hard to repeat in any sport, let alone in baseball after playing into November the year prior.

And even though the Cubs won't admit any "hangover" or use that word, they're having one of the worst title defense seasons in baseball history.

For starters, they are the first World Series winner to be shutout in sending a returning player to the All-Star Game after Kris Bryant lost out to the Dodgers' Justin Turner in the final vote Thursday:

But the "hangover" effect doesn't stop there.

FiveThirtyEight took a look at run differential for defending champions and the Cubs rank sixth in declining differential:

What's even worse is that graphic was posted Thursday morning, before the Cubs went out and lost by nine to the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The 2014 Red Sox were among the most disappointing teams in recent history and the Marlins had that epic firesale after winning the 1997 World Series. The 1940 Yankees still had a fantastic season (+153 run differential) and the only reason their diffential dipped so much was because of a historic and unsustainable +438 run differential their championship season.

Of course, the season is not over yet and with 77 games remaining and an enormous amount of talent on the roster, the Cubs could still turn things around and find a way to climb off FiveThirtyEight's graphic altogether.

Then again, it could always go the other way, too, and the Cubs could soar to the top of this list...

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