Let’s Play a Game of Over/Under for the Cubs in 2016
Nothing fancy about this one, just a few stats and quick polls for you to cast your vote as to whether the Cubs will go over or under the number in question. Sorry I’m not able to provide you with a painstakingly long explanation of the process, but I’d be worried about you if you really needed any explanation. I will say that I generally went with a little bit of a bump over last year’s numbers, which might seem like a bit of a cop-out on the surface. But while it’s easy to expect improvement, and I generally do, it’s entirely possible that the Cubs will slip a bit in a few areas.[poll id=”94″]
I’m taking the over on this one, mainly because I predicted 100 last week. The thing to remember here, though, is that even falling short of last season’s 97 victories could lock up the Central and mark the Cubs as a better team.
The Cubs hit 171 dingers in 2015, and that’s with Kris Bryant’s mini-drought and War Bear only really playing in the second half. Then again, there’s potential for sophomore slumps and whatnot. Still, I’m taking the over in a big way here.[poll id=”96″]
This might sound a bit lofty, but I’m taking the over here too. Remember in 2008 when the Cubs pretty much sent their entire roster to New York, for the Midsummer Classic? Okay, so it was just 8, but the point remains that hype helps. I could easily see 3 position players (Bryant, Rizzo, and Heyward) in the lineup on fan voting alone, with a couple pitchers also getting nods. Truth be told, this one could be a push.
The Cubs reached base at a .321 clip last season, so this would represent a decent jump. But with Heyward (.362 career OBP) and Zobrist (.355) in the fold, that should improve. Well, J-Hey’s contribution here is a push with Fowler (.363), but Zorilla represents a marked improvement over Castro (.321). Combined with what I expect to be a big jump for Addison Russell (.307), they’ll push the team to at least .331.
They managed a .719 last season and I’ve already predicted over on homers and OBP, so it doesn’t take much to know I’m going over here too.
I’m taking the over here, which I believe is the first time I’ve bet on them getting a little worse. While I think their young hitters will mature, I wouldn’t be surprised a bit to see the K-rate increase.
While I think Hendricks will improve and Lackey will represent a significant improvement over the random cast of characters he replaced, I believe Maddon will further restrict the innings of Arrieta and Lester. The reigning Cy Young admitted that that could be the case, saying that he’d have to learn to be okay with saving June and July innings for the postseason.[poll id=”102″]
Going under here too because I think the Cubs are simply going to play in fewer close games.[poll id=”103″]
More to come on this one, as I’ve got a full breakdown of my thoughts here, but I think we all expect some regression. At the same time, Arrieta could still put up some incredibly solid numbers, so I’m taking the under here.
I think he’s going to be a good boy in his first season with a new team. All bets are off next year though. How else are they going to get source material for The ‘Burbs II?[poll id=”106″]
This is an interesting one, and another for which I’m developing more thoughts. Bryant’s .378 BABIP was 5th-highest in baseball last year, but is probably unsustainable over time. So even though .350 would represent a big drop, it seems a bit of regression is in order. I’m taking the under.[poll id=”107″]
Over. Way over. Okay, not really, but you know I want this kid to crush every pitch he sees. Steamer’s projections have him at 25 home runs, but that’s in only 125 games. I think he gets closer to 140 and pops 32.
While it did appear that Lester was more willing to throw over toward the end of the year, I don’t think we’ll see him turn into a pick-off artist. It’ll be fun to get mad online at people who are mad online about the lefty only going to 1st two or three times all year. Under.[poll id=”109″]
I will take the over here, as I think Baez will play everywhere but 1B, P, and C in 2016. In case your maths are as finely tuned as mine, that’s 6 positions, not to mention a hell of a lot of excitement.
This could go on all day, but I think keeping it at 14 is nice. Miss you, Ernie.