Cubs Still Have Talent, Early Lineup Thoughts, Dodgers Hilariously Stacked, Nico Ripped, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Still Have Talent, Early Lineup Thoughts, Dodgers Hilariously Stacked, Nico Ripped, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Astros stuff this morning, plus the Nolan Arenado report, really got me set back on the Bullets. And there’s so much stuff this time of year, so I gotta rollllll …

  • The Dodgers have added Mookie Betts and David Price to a roster that was already loaded, and I have been thinking about just how absurdly stacked that team is. How can I share it? I think perhaps the best way to express just how good they are on paper is to share the chart of simulated wins that creates the PECOTA win-loss projection we discussed earlier this week. To be sure, PECOTA doesn’t actually just spit out a record – it simulates thousands of games to generate a range of records for a team, and then the mean projection is the one you see out there. So, for example, this is what the projections look like right now for the NL Central:

  • As you can see, the Reds average a slightly higher win total than the Cubs, when you look at the distribution of possible outcomes, it’s actually nearly neck-and-neck. You can see also, for example, that the Brewers have a wide range of outcomes, but for them, the projection that they finish under .500 is a particularly strong area for them, hence the peak. Most divisions basically look like this, with overlapping hills, peaking at various spots, giving you a general idea of which teams are better, worse, similar, etc.
  • So, then, circling back to the Dodgers and the NL West. If I may … LOL:

  • Basically, per PECOTA, the Dodgers have to fall into one of their EXTREMELY UNLIKELY scenarios and one other team has to climb into one of their own EXTREMELY UNLIKELY scenarios for this to even be a race at all.
  • Cubs players see the talent still in the room:

  • … but they also know how down 2019 was:

  • No decisions yet on the lineup, though of course Anthony Rizzo remains a possibility to lead off, given his success there and the lack of an obvious alternative. Just please don’t waste those PAs on a guy who “seems” more like a leadoff “type” than Rizzo, simply because Rizzo “seems” more like a middle-of-the-order “type.” Just get the best guys the most PAs in the spots where they do well. Period. End of lineup discussion.
  • Apropos of the conversations this week about how things operated under Joe Maddon (and worked very well for a few years before losing steam), you should expect Spring Training to have a more traditional, organized feel under David Ross and bench coach Andy Green:

  • Nico Hoerner is in camp looking JACKED:

  • Fun with Cubs prospects:

  • Very cool moment:

  • Very uncool:

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.