How About A Good Old Fashioned Cubs-Cardinals Rumble in the Central This Year? And Other Bullets

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How About A Good Old Fashioned Cubs-Cardinals Rumble in the Central This Year? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Cubs Convention 2019 is here. There is no question that the energy level associated with the Convention is of a different caliber and character this time around, because there is nothing to create that artificial buzz. Tag line: “Last year ended very disappointingly and it’s impossible to sustain the high of a World Series win for the first time in 108 years, but this team is, you know, still pretty darn good.”

Nevertheless, I’m still really looking forward to getting down into the hotel, getting a sense from the crowd on how people are feeling, seeing the player introductions, etc. And then seeing friends and meeting new people tonight at Lizzie McNeill’s – next to the hotel – after the Opening Ceremonies.

  • The new-and-improved St. Louis Cardinals’ ZiPS projections are out, and they peg the Cardinals as a fairly well-rounded club with exceptional positional depth, and a couple stars at the corner infield spots:

  • The Cardinals also have a deep, deep, deep collection of yeah-he-might-be-decent arms that could contribute this year. They also get back Alex Reyes for some portion of the season, and if he’s the guy he was pre-Tommy John, that’s going to be an enormous boost to the rotation in the second half of the season.
  • The Cubs’ ZiPS aren’t out yet, but FanGraphs does have projected records that are updated based on Steamer and their own Depth Charts. Presently, the Cubs and Cardinals are projected to be nearly indistinguishable this year, with the Cubs at 87 wins and the Cardinals at 86 wins. Hey, maybe we’re in for a good old fashioned brawl between the Cubs and the Cardinals this year in the Central. If you can stomach it, that could actually be … fun?
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
  • How about those win totals, eh? Yes, the Central has become that competitive, with the other three teams basically at .500 (80 wins for the Pirates, 79 wins for the Brewers and Reds), which, if true, would necessarily hold down the win totals at the top of the division thanks to the unbalanced schedule. I don’t think that’s where I’d peg the five teams relatively speaking (I’d have the Brewers right with the Cubs and Cardinals), but it’s a reminder that the Cubs have no cakewalk ahead of them, *even if they do the bare minimum and bring in another reliever and a quality veteran back-up catcher.*
  • Joe Maddon remains positive and confident:

  • I’ll say this: I do think, of the Central teams, the Cubs have the highest upside. If everything clicks for every Central team, the Cubs will be at the top. But, it’s kind of the nature of the beast for a fan to fear the downside risk, and I still see plenty, especially in the bullpen.
  • Cubs doing good:

  • Random, interesting little quirk Michael noticed:

  • A small, but notable update to the expected metrics at Statcast:

  • I was on the tee-vee last night, so you can see me jolt and jerk around while I talk about the Cubs:

  • Some fun with Mitch and love for Nagy:

  • DUDE! This has nothing to do with anything other than being crazy and awesome, but thanks for passing along this trailer, Michael:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.