Please take note of how the Oakland A's have built their success. A team
that is roughly $33 million cheaper won 94 games, and the AL
If you compare the Cubs to the A's, defensively they were pretty similar.
The Cubs had fewer errors and
turned more double plays, but both teams shared the same fielding percentage.
On the offense, the A's did have more home runs (195 compared to 137), but the Cubs were slightly better in team batting average and stole more bases.
Now take a gander at pitching. The A's had an ERA of 3.48. The Cubs: 4.51.
I'm no rocket surgeon, but that there seems like the biggest difference between being 94-68 vs 61-101.