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).

Recent comments

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  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 30 min 9 sec ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 34 min 20 sec ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 39 min 29 sec ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 44 min 17 sec ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 3 hours 56 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 4 hours 42 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 8 hours 41 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.

    John Beasley 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.

    while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.

    crunch 19 hours 3 min ago view
  • Carl Jr.! Very nice!

    Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.

    billybucks 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.

    ...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.

    crunch 20 hours 10 min ago view