PECOTA Projects a Slight Improvement for the Cubs in 2014

Baseball Prospectus released the first PECOTA projections for the upcoming season Tuesday. And to no surprise, PECOTA pegs the Cubs to finish in the cellar of the NL Central. PECOTA sees the Cubs winning five more games under new manager Rick Renteria than they did a year ago.

PECOTA’s early projection points to a 71-91 record for the 2014 season, a slight improvement from the 66-96 record the Cubs posted last season. PECOTA projects the Cubs to score 641 runs while allowing 732 runs and hitting .246 with a .304 OBP as a team.

The Cubs’ 71-91 mark would put the Cubs seven games back of the fourth place Pirates and 17 behind the division winning Cardinals according to PECOTA, but not last in the National League.

PECOTA sees the Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers winning the three divisions in the Senior Circuit with the Giants and Braves squaring off in the Wild Card game.

Here is how PECOTA predicts the 2014 season will play out, at least in the standings:

National League

East

  • Washington Nationals – 88-74
  • Atlanta Braves – 85-77
  • Philadelphia Phillies – 76-86
  • New York Mets – 74-88
  • Miami Marlins – 69-93

Central

  • St. Louis Cardinals – 88-74
  • Cincinnati Reds – 83-79
  • Milwaukee Brewers – 80-82
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – 78-84
  • Chicago Cubs – 71-91

West

  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 98-64
  • San Francisco Giants – 87-75
  • San Diego Padres – 81-81
  • Arizona Diamondbacks – 79-83
  • Colorado Rockies – 78-84
American League

East

  • Boston Red Sox – 89-73
  • Tampa Bay Rays – 89-73
  • New York Yankees – 82-80
  • Toronto Blue Jays – 80-82
  • Baltimore Orioles – 75-87

Central

  • Detroit Tigers – 88-74
  • Cleveland Indians – 79-83
  • Kansas City Royals – 79-83
  • Chicago White Sox – 75-87
  • Minnesota Twins – 71-91

West

  • Oakland A’s – 88-74
  • Los Angeles Angels – 87-75
  • Texas Rangers – 85-77
  • Seattle Mariners – 82-80
  • Houston Astros – 66-96

PECOTA’s win-loss projection for the Cubs is not far off from the 68-94 prediction David Schoenfield posted for the Cubs on ESPN.com. Schoenfield thinks the Cubs will end the season with the fourth worst record in baseball for the second year in a row.

Click here for Baseball Prospectus’ Depth Charts – The Depth Charts are playing time-weighted projections for each player which build up to a team projection.

Baseball Prospectus posted its early projections for players’ performances. This information is by subscription only so only a few of the player’s stat lines will be posted. For those that follow baseball closely, a subscription to BP is highly recommended.

  • Anthony Rizzo: .258/.332/.472 with 34 doubles, 28 home runs in 631 plate appearances
  • Welington Castillo: .249/.323/.414 with 25 doubles, 17 home runs in 511 plate appearances
  • Starlin Castro: .280/.311/.411 with 34 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs in 651 plate appearances
  • Nate Schierholtz: .254/.306/.418 with 31 doubles, 17 home runs in 584 plate appearances
  • Jeff Samardzija: 10-16 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP (176 strikeouts, 75 walks) in 31 starts
  • Travis Wood: 10-14 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP (146 strikeouts, 54 walks) in 31 starts
  • Edwin Jackson: 10-15 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP (154 strikeouts, 56 walks) in 31 starts
  • Jake Arrieta: 6-10 with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP (94 strikeouts, 44 walks) in 21 starts

Baseball Prospectus pointed out Jason Hammel was not included in the projections because he has not officially signed with the Cubs.

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