FanGraphs posted its win-loss projections for all 30 teams. And FanGraphs has the Cubs winning 95 games in 2017.
The World Series Champs had the best record in baseball this past season (103-58-1). The Cubs scored 808 runs in the regular season and allowed 556 for a run differential of 252. FanGraphs projects the Cubs will have a 95-67 record next season with the best run differential in baseball (128) for the second straight year.
FanGraphs projects the Cubs to win 10 more games than the second place Cardinals in the NL Central, and 12 more than the Pirates. The Cubs would equal the win total of the Dodgers (95-67) which would be the best in baseball.
If the projections are close to accurate, the Cubs, Dodgers and Nationals would be the three division winners and the Giants and Cardinals would square off in the NL Wild Card Game. The Red Sox, Indians and Astros would be the division winners in the Junior Circuit with the Angels hosting the Wild Card Game, facing the Yankees, Tigers or Mariners.
Here’s how FanGraphs sees the 2017 season playing out in the standings as the New Year quickly approaches …
- Chicago Cubs – 95-67
- St. Louis Cardinals – 85-77
- Pittsburgh Pirates – 83-79
- Cincinnati Reds – 68-94
- Milwaukee Brewers – 63-99
- Washington Nationals – 90-72
- New York Mets – 84-78
- Miami Marlins – 80-82
- Atlanta Braves – 76-86
- Philadelphia Phillies – 70-92
- Los Angeles Dodgers – 95-67
- San Francisco Giants – 88-74
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 78-84
- Colorado Rockies – 78-84
- San Diego Padres – 66-96
- Boston Red Sox – 93-69
- New York Yankees – 83-79
- Toronto Blue Jays – 82-80
- Tampa Bay Rays – 82-80
- Baltimore Orioles – 76-86
- Cleveland Indians – 91-71
- Detroit Tigers – 83-79
- Kansas City Royals – 79-93
- Minnesota Twins – 75-87
- Chicago White Sox – 71-91
- Houston Astros – 90-72
- Los Angeles Angels – 85-77
- Seattle Mariners – 83-79
- Texas Rangers – 82-80
- Oakland Athletics – 78-84
The projections will change several times before the season begins. It is safe to say the Cubs will be predicted by many to win the National League and return to The World Series next fall. The Red Sox and Indians will be the pre-season favorites in the American League.
ESPN detailed how each team in the NL Central can make the playoffs. Even in late December, the NL Central is the Cubs, Cardinals and Pirates then the rebuilding Reds and Brewers. The Cubs have a very deep team and the front office is working on ways to acquire pitching to put the team in the best position possible to defend The World Series Championship.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs announced before Christmas that the team extended their partnership with 96.1 FM WSBT. South Bend Cubs games will be aired locally on 96.1 FM and 960 AM. The extension keeps the SB Cubs broadcasts on WSBT through the 2020 season.
The three-year extension was added to the contract that was set to expire after the 2017 season.
Darin Pritchett will return as the Voice of the South Bend Cubs to call games next season.
News, Notes and Rumors
• ESPN detailed how baseball was fun during the 2016 season … Matt Szczur’s bat and leggings, Jake Arrieta throwing the baseball’s only no-hitter, Travis Wood playing left field, Grandpa Rossy and the Cubs winning The World Series are all in the report.
• The Cubs World Series victory, Steve Goodman and ‘Go Cubs Go,’ how Jake Arrieta came back from the baseball dead, Scenes from Wrigleyville, Watching NLCS Game 3 with the ultimate Cubs fan and the C of Joy, the end of the Cubs’ title drought has unleashed a flood of emotions were among Sports Illustrated’s best MLB stories of 2016.
• Relief pitchers were front and center all season, especially in the postseason. According to Hardball Talk, the Year of the Reliever was No. 8 on the list of the top 25 baseball stories of 2016.
• Baseball agreed to a new CBA and did not distract, too much, from the excitement created by The World Series. Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement was the seventh biggest story of the baseball year according to Hardball Talk.
• The Nationals and Braves are among the teams that have shown interest in veteran catcher Matt Wieters. The Diamondbacks and Rockies have also been linked to Wieters. And Jon Heyman thinks the Mets would be “a logical fit for him.”
• Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays are “engaged in active contract discussions” according to Jon Paul Morosi. There are two free agents left that are tied to draft pick compensation … Bautista and Mark Trumbo. The Cubs draft pick could improve if those two players sign with teams with an unprotected first round pick.
• Jon Paul Morosi confirmed Thursday that Buster Posey (Giants), Jonathan Lucroy (Rangers), Eric Hosmer (Royals), Paul Goldschmidt (D-Backs), Ian Kinsler (Tigers), Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Brandon Crawford (Giants), Daniel Murphy (Nationals), Christian Yelich (Marlins), Adam Jones (Orioles) and Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) will all play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
• Big League Stew found out what Bill Murray did to Jon Hamm’s Cardinals hat during The World Series.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) December 29, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Jorge De Leon
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Todd Dunwoody
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Mickey Lopez
1997 – Cubs signed free agent Bry Nelson
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Julio Valera
1988 – Drew Rucinski, born
1985 – Sean Gallagher, born