What to Know
- PECOTA projections come from Baseball Prospectus, and include data on run production and run prevention for players.
- The Cubs have out-performed their PECOTA-projected win total in each of the last four seasons.
- The algorithm says the Cubs will finish third in the National League Central, behind the Brewers and Cardinals.
Baseball Prospectus released its annual PECOTA projections on Thursday, and for Chicago Cubs fans, the news isn’t good.
The Cubs, who have made the playoffs each of the last four seasons, are projected to miss the postseason by the publication’s ranking, as they are slated to finish with an 82-80 record and have one of the National League’s worst pitching staffs and defensive groups.
That record is good for third in the National League Central, finishing behind the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
There are eight teams in the National League that are projected to finish with better records than the Cubs, and the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are both projected to finish just one game behind them in the standings.
The PECOTA projections take a player’s statistics from the previous few seasons, weight the most recent seasons more heavily, and give projections on how many runs they will create on offense and prevent on defense to help give an idea of how a team will perform in a coming season.
The projections are often very conservative, with the Cubs having out-performed their PECOTA number in each of the last four seasons, but the new numbers are going to do little to help Cubs fans who think the team has been too quiet on the free agency front this offseason.