Predicting The Chicago Cubs 2020 Record

Chicago Cubs 2020 Projection

Not much has changed for the Chicago Cubs roster since they went 84-78 and missed the playoffs last year. That’s why not many have them taking the NL Central crown this year either. Projections for records start to come out after free agency and it’s always fun to see where websites put the Chicago Cubs. Under the circumstances, it will be a little different this year. Since the Corona Virus has pushed back the season the MLB has been discussing about playing 100 games instead of the regular 162. Since that will most likely be the case, we can take a look at six popular sports websites and convert their 162-game projection to a 100-game projection.

Source

Record (W-L) Place Standings 100 Games (W-L)

MLB.COM

85-77 2ND CIN, CHI, STL, MIL, PIT 53-47

BLEACHER REPORT

82-80 T-3RD STL, MIL, CHI, CIN, PIT 51-41

USA TODAY

82-80 4TH STL, CIN, MIL, CHI, PIT 51-41

FANGRAPHS

85-77 1ST CHI, CIN, MIL, STL, PIT

53-47

FANDUEL 85-77 T-2ND STL, CHI, CIN, MIL, PIT

53-47

CLAY DAVENPORT 83-79 3RD CIN, MIL, CHI, STL, PIT

51-41

This is basically what I was expecting. Projections saying the Cubs will be average to just above average for the 2020 season and can you really blame them? Chicago has had a hard time trying to stay healthy since their miraculous World Series victory and they never seemed to get back to that dominant form. With the extra long off-season, hopefully it gives the players time to regenerate and be ready once the season starts.

The two positions that still have question marks are center field and second base. Nico Hoerner being called up the last month of the season last year has really given the Cubs a better look at second base. He put up a solid stat line to start his career with a .282 BA, 3 HR, and 17 RBI in 78 ABS. In my opinion, he should get the started nod on opening day over David Bote or Jason Kipnis. Center field is still up for grabs as Almora and Happ will be battling for the spot. Here is my projected lineup for 2020 opening day.

Position

Potential Starters

Projected Lineup

P

Darvish, Lester, Hendricks

1 – Ian Happ

C

Willson Contreras

2 – Javy Baez

1B

Anthony Rizzo

3 – Kris Bryant

2B

Bote, Hoerner, Kipnis

4 – Anthony Rizzo

3B

Kris Bryant

5 – Willson Contreras

SS

Javy Baez

6 – Kyle Schwarber

LF

Kyle Schwarber

7 – Jason Heyward

CF

Almora, Happ

8 – Nico Hoerner

RF

Jason Heyward

9 – Yu Darvish

Ian Happ hasn’t been given a full season of playing time to prove himself and I have him starting at center and batting lead-off for one huge reason: he gets on base. In 2018, his OBP was 120 points above his batting average. This would be considered elite status if he didn’t have a batting average of .233. last year he started in the minors and greatly improved himself once he was called back up to the bigs with a line of .264/.333/.564 with a .898 OPS. He had 11 home runs in just 140 at bats, and in my opinion, he should get the start at the leadoff spot just to see how he handles it. I also chose Nico Hoerner at second base and 8th in the order. I would say he is a great option for the leadoff spot as he has no problem putting the bat on the ball, but with his little experience, David Ross will most likely opt for someone else at the top of the order on opening day. Yu Darvish should get the starting nod for how well he pitched in the second half last year, but David Ross might choose his buddy Jon Lester. I would be comfortable with both of them or Hendricks taking the bump.

Although the Cubs haven’t had a losing season since 2014, it’s been pretty disappointing since they won it all. I truly believe this roster can take the NL Central once again if they just stay healthy. The division is up for grabs as Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis all have rosters capable of winning records and a post-season run. If the Cubs can just stay healthy, my prediction is a 90-72 winning record which equates to 56-44 under the 100-game season proposal.

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