Monday, June 04, 2007

Bold Prediction: the Chicago Cubs will win the NL Central

I'm all about bold and rash predictions on this site, which makes this perfect.

Yes, the Chicago Cubs are having their share of problems right now. The manager is imploding, they're 2-12 in 1-run games, they're 7 games under .500, and they're 6.5 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

But still, I think they'll win the NL Central. For a few reasons:

- The division sucks. Milwaukee is the only decent team in that division, and they have started to struggle now that they are playing teams outside the division. The Brewers have been playing very well, but their record is a little better than the run differential suggests it should be, and that's with great performances from JJ Hardy (who simply can't keep up this pace), and Francisco Cordero, who has been basically superhuman so far.

- The Cubs are playing a lot better than their record would indicate. Their record is only 24-31, but they have outscored their opponents by 20 runs, suggesting that they should be 30-25. They've had some bad luck, as being 2-12 in 1-run games is just not something that tends to stay consistent over the course of the season. As long starts to deviate back towards the mean the record will improve.

- Carlos Zambrano has been horrible. He's a little overrated, but he's a lot better than a 5.62 ERA, which is what he is at right now. The BB rate is normal, but the HR rate is a little high and the K rate is a little low. These are problems that he has to fix, but his track record suggests he can and that should keep the ERA dropping. Of course, maybe this is offset some by the fact that Jason Marquis is playing out of his mind, but we'll see.

So anyway, as of now, I'll take the Cubs to win the NL Central. They're not playing particularly well at 24-31, 6.5 games back, but I think they'll have enough to come back and overtake the Brew Crew.

Your thoughts? Am I way off base here?

15 comments:

Sanchez said...

I'm not sure you're giving the Brewers enough credit here twins.

The fact that the division does suck might help the Cubs but I think it's second place for them this year.

sugarshane024 said...

I like the boldness. Anybody can make the obvious prediction. I actually had the Cubs picked to win before the season got under way. I'm not so sure now, but at least you're on board.

I also picked Lance Berkman to be this year's NL MVP. That isn't looking so good either, but as long as we're being bold, I'll stick with it.

The Zoner said...

I did pick them before the season. Of course, being here in Chicago I have seen more than enough Cubs games this year. I don't disagree with your prediction but they need to make some moves first.

The first move is already done: bringing Pie back up. At the very least he adds speed and the much needed defense to the what was the worst OF defense in MLB.

They still need a more regular lineup and I'd love to see them ditch Jacque Jones for another bullpen arm.

I agree with Sanchez though; the Brew deserve a lot of cred.

Kevin Hayward said...

You're forgetting that the Cubs are the Cubs. That fact cannot be overstated. They WILL find a way to blow things to pieces, whether that is in the season (as currently appears to be the case), or in the postseason. And if you or any other commenters want to discuss the Cubs' postseason woes, can we please leave Steve Bartman out of the discussion?! :-)

grittysquirrels said...

Way to be bold...but that's a reach. Brewers will win the division. They have 83 of 110 games left against teams that began last week below .500.

The Brewers will re-open their lead now that they're starting to play more NL teams and weak NL Central teams.

Brewers win the NL Central.

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