It’s time to get excited about the 2013 Cubs

In Commentary And Analysis by dmick897 Comments

Spring training is just around the corner and the 2013 Cubs are set to kick off their Cactus League schedule on February 23rd. It's a split squad game and the game against the Angels will even be televised on WGN. It's not until April 1st that non-practice games will be played, but it's time to get excited. They might be better than we think.

Hope MonsterA few weeks ago I came up with a wild ass guess of 73 wins for the Cubs. It was pretty close to the projected wins based on the CAIRO projections, which was 72. While 72-73 wins isn't like a contender, a lot of strange things can happen during the season and even teams that poor will contend from time to time. However, being the optimist on the site I thought it my job to provide a little more optimistic wild ass (optimistic) guess. It's not quite The Hope Monster kind of optimism, but it will do.

I'll start with the rotation this time as I think the rotation can actually be pretty good. It won't be great, and there is a chance it stinks, but it could be well above average.

The total WAR for the rotation here is 13.5.

Let's pencil in a few in the bullpen, but not get carried away. Most relievers are next to useless so I'm keeping that in mind.

The total bullpen WAR is 4.5 giving the Cubs a total pitching WAR of 18.

Now I'm just going to go around the infield.

That's 19.0 WAR.

The total WAR for the 2013 Cubs is 37.0. Using a .300 replacement level team, which is 48.6 wins, that would mean the Cubs win

85.6 wins

A lot of things would have to go right for this to happen and things generally don't go right for the Cubs, but I havne't penciled anyone in for an MVP caliber season here. I think most of these are reasonable. It may not be so reasonable to expect all of them to get this, which would mean they probably all overperform to some extent. I'll admit that's not likely and I'm not suggesting you clear your schedule in October.

I'm only saying that this team could contend. They're not as bad as I previously thought. I don't believe any WAR prediction is far-fetched. I'm not asking you to believe that Scott Baker and Scott Feldman are going to be all-stars, or really even that good.

If you go bet all your money on the Cubs winning 85 or so games, you're an idiot. The flip side to this optimistic version is a team worse than we saw a year ago. But this team could contend and it's worth at least getting a little excited about as spring training nears.

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  1. WaLi

    Just booked my plane ticket to Chicago in October – I haven’t bought playoff tickets yet because I can’t remember the website to buy them early.

    There was a website a few years ago that had it where you could buy tickets for any team for the playoffs at the beginning of the year. However, the teams most likely to go to the playoffs would cost more and the teams less likely to go would cost less. I never did this and thinking about it now it sounds like a scam, but if it was legit it seems like a cool idea. It’s pretty much gambling, but the payout is a guaranteed playoff ticket.

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  2. WaLi

    @ dmick89:
    I don’t know. I remember thinking that at the time. Maybe they only had a certain amount they could sell. I can’t find the website and this was like 4-5 years ago when the Cubs were looking good. I thought I saw it so I must be misremembering things.

    Also good post. I am getting more excited about baseball season starting up. I wish we could have done a bit more this offseason but it will be exciting to see another year of Castro and Rizzo and maybe Jackson if he gets called up.

    If Jackson gets called up, how much WAR could he get?

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