Cubs Win Another Simulated NL Central Division

Baseball Prospectus had the Cubs running away with the NL Central a few weeks back. CHONE projections1 thinks it will be a tight race with the St. Louis Cardinals. They have the Cubs at 88 wins, just five ahead of the Cardinals, six ahead of the Reds and seven ahead of the Brewers.

Furthermore, they've got the Cubs listed 10th in their power rankings, fourth in the NL behind the Phillies, Mets and Braves.

I think we can infer two things from this new information. First, the Cubs aren't quite the locks to win the NL Central that some of us have led ourselves to believe. Second, that Sean Smith who runs the CHONE projections is a Cub-hater2. I think that's irrefutable. I even think I found a picture of him


1 - Is it pronounced Shawn? If so, I would have just called it the FIGGINS projections.

2 - Disclaimer: Sarcasm.

Comments

Nice footnote usage. I like it. I'll be looking for your annotated bibliography shortly.

Also, I'm willing to make a wager on just about any imaginable terms that all three of the Cards, Reds, and Brewers will not win 80 games.

90 wins for Cleveland seems high, too, considering the back 3 of their rotation is currently Carl Pavano, Anthony Reyes, and Aaron Laffey.

Furthermore, they have the Cubs projected to win more games than the 4 of the 5 teams ranked immediately in front of them in their power rankings. I know those two aren't directly connected, but still. Seems like a way to hurt your own credibility, doesn't it?

the braves?

okay, whatever.

btw...what is up with statheads and kotchman?

i just don't get it...it's like going apeshit over sean casey, but he's a favorite of a lot of statheads.

You didn't go apeshit over The Mayor when we was in Cincy? 99-2005 hit over .300 every season but 2 (.291 one of those seasons), averaged 36 doubles, about 15 HRs and 75 RBIs, never struck out more than 88 times and was 14th in MVP voting in 1999. Casey Kochman will be lucky to be as good as The Mayor

that's pretty much what i expect...well, maybe not consistent .300 hitting...

talking to some statheads they're ready to rub my face in the "fact" he's a 30+HR 40-ish double guy waiting to happen.

i have no idea wtf those people are watching or looking at.

i still find it odd they're burying his arm at 1st rather than trying him in the OF, but whatever...maybe he's not good at catching popups or something.

Doesn't Dunn have a cannon arm too? I liken the athletic ability in the field of Kotchman to that of Dunn's...horrible.

i wouldnt call kotchman's arm a cannon, but he's got a good one as far as velocity.

that said, i have no idea how the guy handles running/tracking stuff on the fly.

"90 wins for Cleveland seems high, too, considering the back 3 of their rotation is currently Carl Pavano, Anthony Reyes, and Aaron Laffey."

Mark Shapiro agrees. “If you had to point to one aspect of the club that I’m least comfortable with, it would be our rotation.” —General manager Mark Shapiro.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AkTyy8aY2jHR...

If Westbrook can return at a decent level around the all-star break, they'll be okay. If they can get into the playoffs you only need two pitchers.

"If they can get into the playoffs you only need two pitchers."

Having 3 playoff caliber pitchers must be what's been killing us.

The FIGGINS projections also don't have a single team more than 9 games under .500, so obviously something is a miss

And somehow we won the division with 11 wins being the most for any starting pitcher...

Donnie Veal got the win for the Pirates in their opener against Philly.

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=2902...

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/14495...

sore back...

article says Indians played Cubs today, but it was the Giants.

1 Cubs
2 Reds
3 Cards
4 Pirates
5 Brewers
6 Astros

Stop laughing. I'm serious.

Give me the over on the Cubs top four starters for wins and the under on ERA for all five of them, please, Mr. Figgins.

Yea... I would do the same. And I would possibly add Marshall to the list of over on the wins, under on the ERA also.

My fear on Marshall would be that he didn't get the 5th starter's gig, and then if he only pitches 90 bullpen innings you have to deal with the small sample size variability, but if he wins the job I'd throw him on there as well.

Agreed... I should have prefaced that with "if he is actually the #5 starter."

So let me get this straight. The Braves will be better than the Cubs, and there are 6 AL teams better than ANY NL team. Ummmm OK. Time to get back on their meds (or off their meds).

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  • The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.

    John Beasley 8 min 6 sec ago view
  • Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres. 

    link 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 5 hours 1 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 19 hours 40 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 20 hours 23 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 20 hours 33 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 20 hours 40 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 20 hours 43 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 20 hours 55 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 21 hours 52 sec ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 21 hours 16 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 21 hours 17 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 1 day 8 min ago view