Wait til next year. Forever.
And here’s where Cubs fans should find optimism; by BaseRuns expected record, the Cubs have played like a .500 team this year. Their expected record is actually better than that of the first-place Kansas City Royals, in fact, and is not far off from what the teams contending for the NL wild cards are putting up….
This isn’t a great team, of course, but the only reason the Cubs are in the mix for a top pick again next summer is because they’re 28th in both clutch hitting and clutch pitching this season. They haven’t hit well when it mattered and their pitchers haven’t kept important runs from scoring, so despite average overall performance, they’ve lost eight more games than expected.
So why is this good news? Because clutch performance has basically no predictive value, and the historical record of teams that dramatically underperformed their BaseRuns expected record in one year shows that these teams often improve dramatically in the next year. Right now, the Cubs are 53 points of winning percentage below expectations…
t might not have shown up in the standings yet, but even without the wave of prospects that are on the way, this team has performed like a roughly average Major League team. Add in some expected production from a few of the young kids and likely a significant free agent addition or two, and the Cubs are going to be everyone’s sleeper pick next year. But it won’t just be prospect hype and a big name addition. This is a decent team that is a lot closer to winning than their current record suggests.
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