The Cubs have been picked by three more publications to lead the league in 2016 in the most meaningful stat: Wins.
Reporting that people think the Cubs will be awesome in 2016 has become something of a second job for me here at Bleacher Nation. Just last week, Matt Snyder placed the Cubs atop his CBS pre-season power rankings. In late January, Buster Olney (ESPN) pegged the Cubs as the top team in baseball. There are many more – just follow the links down the hype-filled rabbit hole.
Today’s top rankings come from David Schoenfield (ESPN), Tim Brown (Yahoo Sports) and Gabe Lacques (USA Today Sports). Together, the trio is projecting the Cubs to win a heck of a lot of games in 2016. You should definitely check out each article to get excited for the season (you need more reasons, right?), and here’s a little taste of each.
In total for Schoenfield, the Cubs come in ahead of the Mets, Astros, Royals and Blue Jays, while the Pirates (8) and Cardinals (11) fall in, later down the list. It’s a nice long read, and definitely worth your time.
At Yahoo Sports, Tim Brown is projecting the Cubs to finish at the top of the league when all is said and done. There aren’t any nominal projections, but the final order of the teams is relatively different than what we’ve otherwise seen. Falling in just behind the Cubs are the Cardinals, Mets, Nationals and Red Sox. I tend to disagree with where the Cardinals have been ranking on various lists lately (more on that in a bit), but it’s hard to argue that people like them for 2016. The Dodgers (6), Royals (9) and Pirates (10) also seem a bit low to me, but any list with the Cubs on top is probably dead accurate.Lastly, at USA Today Sports, Gabe Lacques is projecting the Cubs to finish with a mighty 101 wins, by far the most in baseball. Aside from the Cardinals, who he picks to win 97 games, the Cubs’ 101-win finish would be 11 more wins than the next-next best team. Interestingly, that “next-next best team” is a three-way tie between the Giants (understandable), Astros (yeah, of course), and … the White Sox (whaaat?), all of which Lacques projects for 90 wins. The Nationals, (89 wins), Pirates (88) and Red Sox (88) follow closely behind.
You’d think that, by now, I’d be getting sick of these rankings – superstitious, even – but that’s just not the case. When I wrote about the Cardinals being afraid of “The Team Up North,” I meant it. Embrace these rankings, friends. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.