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.

...f'n love MLB Network...still.

BOS@MIN spring training...whatever...it's live wood bat baseball on Feb. 25.

gee, i wonder if there will be any on tommorow...oh gee, yes there will.

etc etc etc...

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 Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 6 hours 54 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 11 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 12 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 15 hours 46 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 16 hours 16 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 17 hours 11 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 17 hours 21 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 17 hours 32 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 17 hours 40 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 17 hours 47 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 17 hours 55 min ago view