After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for eight years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Chicago Cubs.
It’s hard to feel much excitement about the Cubs. They won the World Series when they were one of the best teams in baseball, so to see them in stasis as they pass through the core’s long twilight just doesn’t feel quite right.
I think of the Cubs like one of those expensive, powerful German luxury cars. It was dominating, with an engine that snarled, and looked like it would roll over the mid-size crossovers that were the rest of the NL Central. But it turned out the insurance for the car was expensive, the upkeep and maintenance fell behind, and now it isn’t any more desirable than a late-model, non-luxury brand.
It would not be a shock if this offense, led by stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Báez, was enough to get the Cubs to the top of the division in 2020. But it would no longer be a shock if it doesn’t. Chicago’s outfield is in better shape than that of their World…