As the start of Spring Training quickly approaches, projections for the upcoming season are becoming more and more prevalent.
Beyond the odds in Las Vegas that are not based on past on-field performance, several outlets are projecting Joe Maddon’s team to be around .500 and possibly push for spot in the NL Wild Card Game.
The latest Steamer Projections on FanGraphs sees the Cubs winning 84 games in 2015.
FanGraphs posted the Cubs’ ZiPS projections for the upcoming season last Friday.
Dan Szymborski developed the computer-based projection system (sZymborski Projection System) that uses an intricate formula to provide an estimate for the most notable pitching and hitting stats.
ZiPS is projecting a .269/.358/.493 line for Anthony Rizzo with 30 home runs and a .286/.328/.429 season for Starlin Castro. As for the even younger Cubs, would flirting with a 20 home run season for Arismendy Alcantara help the offense? Or maybe a 30-home run season for Javier Baez to go along with a rather low OBP? And ZiPS includes a .256/.339/.500 line with 29 home runs for Kris Bryant.
On the pitching side, ZiPS projects a solid season for the Cubs rotation of Jon Lester (3.11 ERA, 3.28 FIP), Jake Arrieta (3.67 ERA, 3.79 FIP), Jason Hammel (3.89 ERA, 3.96 FIP) and Kyle Hendricks (3.54 ERA, 3.52 FIP).
Here’s a look at only nine of the available stats for position players and pitchers for the upcoming season. For the full report from FanGraphs, click here or on the links below. Projections are just that, projections, and should be treated as such. The games that count do not begin for another 69 days.
2015 ZiPS Projections – Chicago Cubs – (Includes zWAR and comps for each player)
Position Players - Cubs 2015 ZiPS Projections
|Tommy La Stella||459||.267||.337||.365||.702||109||22||3||4|
Both the Steamer Projections and ZiPS Projections are pointing to Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro having a good season at the plate. And those same projections, based on past performance see Javier Baez struggling with getting on base while hitting more than his fair share of balls out of the park.
Jorge Soler’s production varies based on playing time due to his injury history. An OBP just north of .370 for Dexter Fowler would be welcome at the top of the lineup. And a 29-homer season for Kris Bryant in his big league debut would obviously give the offense a nice boost.
On the pitching side, both projection systems see the top four pitchers in the Cubs’ rotation (Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks) having solid years … and ZiPS projects all four starters to finish the year with an ERA less than 4.00 (Lester: 3.11; Arrieta: 3.67; Hammel: 3.89; Hendricks: 3.54).
- Position Player Projections for the 2015 Chicago Cubs (Steamer Projections)
- Pitching Staff Projections for the 2015 Chicago Cubs (Steamer Projections)
Pitchers – Cubs 2015 ZiPS Projections
As the disclaimer on FanGraphs stated, ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performances and they have not been allocated to predict playing time in the majors. The complete list of players with ZiPS projects includes several players that are not on the Cubs 40-man roster and a majority of those players are very unlikely to play in the majors during the 2015 season.