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I’m putting together a look at how some of the online pubs and soothsayers foresee the Cubs season ahead. In the meantime, the Sports Illustrated
Baseball Preview edition is on the street.
SI has the Cubs pegged for second in the NL Central, behind the Cards and out of the post-season picture. The magazine, which ranks the Cubs as MLB’s 15th strongest club overall, figures the Brewers, Astros, Pirates and Reds will fall in order behind our heroes in the Central.
In a sidebar to Albert Chen’s full preview of the Cubs, Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus
suggests that the Cubs would be 39 runs better off by the end of the season if Michael Barrett hit leadoff and Alfonso Soriano batted cleanup. The conclusion is based on a computer simulation of the season using BP’s PECOTA projections
I agree with the notion that Soriano could help the team more if he hit further down in the lineup, though Matt Murton would strike me as a better replacement in the top spot than Barrett. Still, it’s kind of a cool idea.
I wonder if they’d kick Barrett out of the catchers union if he told them he was batting first.