PECOTA Projects Cubs For 82 Wins, White Sox For 70

The PECOTA algorithm expects a down season for the Cubs.

February 07, 2019 - 12:06 pm
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(670 The Score) Before pitchers and catchers report to spring training next week, Thursday brought another sign baseball season is nearly upon us. Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA algorithm, projecting team and player performances for the 2019 season.

PECOTA expects a stark drop-off for the Cubs, projecting them to go 82-80 and finish third in the National League Central behind the defending division champion Brewers (89-73 projection) and Cardinals (86-76). That projection would mark 13 fewer victories than the Cubs' 95-win season in 2018.

The White Sox are pegged to go 70-92, which would mark an eight-game improvement from their 62-100 season campaign a year ago. PECOTA projects the White Sox to finish fourth in the American League Central. The Indians are heavy favorites in the algorithm, pegged to go 96-66 and be 15 games ahead of the second-place Twins (81-81). 

PECOTA projects first baseman Anthony Rizzo to lead the Cubs in WAR at 4.8, while third baseman Kris Bryant will bounce back from an injury-plagued season by posting a slash line of .273/.376/.473 to go with a 4.3 WAR. PECOTA believes NL MVP runner-up Javier Baez has some regression on the horizon with 27 home runs, 79 RBIs and a .792 OPS. Yu Darvish is projected to have the best ERA of any Cubs starter at 3.78. Staff ace Jon Lester is projected to go 11-10 with a 4.38 ERA.

Among the PECOTA-picked leaders for the White Sox is rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who's expected to make his big league debut early in the season. He's projected for a slash line of .281/.321/.475 with 20 home runs, 62 RBIs and a 1.9 WAR. Second baseman Yoan Moncada is slated for a slash line of .236/.318/.387 and a 1.5 WAR. Carlos Rodon is predicted to lead the pitching staff at 9-11 with a 4.41 ERA.

The Astros are projected to lead baseball with 99 regular-season wins. The Dodgers are projected as best in the NL at 95 victories.