Tryptamine wrote:Ten games into the season when the Cubs were 6-4, I almost started thinking that maybe they weren't terrible and could fluke their way into 80 wins. After going 17-35 over the next 52, I can assuredly say they have a top 4 pick coming. I'm not confident this team wins 60 games, especially after they lose Contreras and more.
As with the season so far, it's gonna depend on the SP. Right now they're 18th in position player WAR, 19th in reliever WAR, and 28th in SP. If you had told any of us before the season that the Top 4 starters(Hendricks, Stroman, Miley, Smyly) will make 55% of the starts, and that Hendricks and Stroman combined for a 5+ ERA when they do start, we'd have said that team is not gonna win 75 games and might struggle to win 70.
If you want the optimist's case, you don't have to squint very hard to see improvement from Hendricks/Stroman, and if Smyly and/or Miley aren't healthy soon they aren't gonna get dealt when they do get healthy, plus Kilian is likely to get his legs under him. Yes trading Contreras would suck but that's easier to weather over 2 months than half your rotation being hurt and the other half being bad(especially b/c of the downstream effects like pulling Thompson out of the pen).
But none of that has to happen, any of the hurt pitchers could stay hurt or come back bad, Hendricks and Kilian might not find their command, Steele could run out of steam with a full season's workload. If things don't get better than they are now they're gonna be in the lottery. I don't think failing to win 60 games is particularly likely(they're still on pace for 61 after losing 9 straight), but that's not a terribly meaningful distinction. What matters more than winning 58 or 64 or 72 or 77 games is what pieces they comfortably have in place for next year.