Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA Projections for the upcoming season last week. And while everyone was focused on the win-loss records for the 30 teams, Baseball Prospectus also posted individual projections for position players and pitchers.
PECOTA is calling for a 92-win season for the Cubs which would be the best record in the NL Central and second in baseball to only the Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68). PECOTA has the Cubs (92-70) winning nine more games than the Pirates (83-79) and 10 more than the third place Cardinals (82-80).
According to PECOTA the three division winners in the National League will be the Cubs, Mets (91-71) and Dodgers with the Nationals (87-75) and Giants (87-75) squaring off in the NL Wild Card Game, or the Dusty Baker Bowl.
In the AL, the three division champs will be the Rays (91-71), Indians (92-70) and Astros (87-75) with the Mariners (84-78) playing the Red Sox (88-74) in the one-game playoff.
Now on to the player projections …
The projection system has the Cubs scoring 744 runs, allowing 644 runs and putting together a .246/.322/.419 slash line with a total WARP of 42.8.
PECOTA thinks the Cubs will have three, 30-plus home run hitters this season in Anthony Rizzo (30), Kris Bryant (31) and Kyle Schwarber (31). And if the projections become reality, all eight of the Cubs every day players will hit at least 13 home runs with Javier Baez (13) also notching double digits in longballs off the bench.
PECOTA has Miguel Montero (13), Ben Zobrist (14), Addison Russell (16), Jason Heyward (20) and Jorge Soler (19) hitting a combined 82 home runs.
As for playing time projections, PECOTA has Javier Baez at shortstop (15%), center field (5%), second base (5%) and third base (5%) and Chris Coghlan playing the corners (left field – 30%, right field 15%) and pinch hitting (30%).
Kyle Schwarber is expected to see time in left field and behind the plate this season. PECOTA projected Schwarber will play 70% of his games in left and 15% catching. Super utility man Ben Zobrist is only a second baseman (85%) in the projections while Tommy La Stella could see time at three infield spots (first base – 10%, third base – 10%, second base – 10%).
Position Players - Cubs 2016 PECOTA Projections
|Tommy La Stella||262||.269||.342||.380||.722||4||0.7|
On the pitching side, PECOTA based its projections on a starting five of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks with Hector Rodon closing games for Joe Maddon during the 2016 season.
PECOTA has Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Hammel and Hendricks making a combined 139 starts with 81 quality starts. PECOTA also has Adam Warren (10), Clayton Richard (2), Eric Jokisch (2), Dallas Beeler (6) and Travis Wood (3) starting ballgames this season.
Pitchers - Cubs 2016 PECOTA Projections
|Hector Rondon||0-52||3-2 (38 SV)||3.57||1.24||49||17||48||6||0.5|
|Pedro Strop||0-56||3-3 (3 SV)||3.55||1.23||65||23||46||6||0.5|
|Carl Edwards Jr.||0-26||1-1||3.63||1.27||29||13||21||2||0.2|
Projections should be viewed as such. Games are not played on paper, but at least the exhibition ones will get underway next week on the field.
- ZiPS Projections for the 2016 Chicago Cubs
- Cubs Steamer Projections – Position Players
- Cubs Steamer Projections – Pitchers