The Chicago Cubs are coming off a disappointing ending to their 2018 season. While they led the NL Central for most of the year, they ended up facing the Brewers in game 163 to determine the NL Central champion. They lost game 163 at Wrigley Field, but luckily still made the wild card where they faced off against the Rockies and also lost at home. In about a month of time, Cubs went from being most likely to win the NL Central to their season quickly ending after a one-game playoff. They still finished with 95 wins proving there is still a lot of talent remaining on the team since their World Series Championship in 2016. The Chicago front office likes the base players they have put together, which led to a quiet off-season entering the 2019 season.
The Cubs did not do much in adding players to their roster as they signed Daniel Descalso on a two-year, $5 million deal. Descalso adds great depth to the infield. They also signed a few relievers here and there but nothing like the off-season other NL Central teams had. Cardinals added Paul Goldschmidt, Brewers added Yasmani Grandal and even the Reds improved their roster by acquiring Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.
PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) is a sabermetric system used to predict MLB performance. Originally their prediction for the Cubs was 80-82 and finish last in the division. Even since then, they have dropped down to 79-83.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 13, 2019
Since PECOTA has released their predictions, it has been all the talk around Chicago since a last-place finish does not seem likely. The Cubs players find the computer projection comical more than anything else, but that doesn’t mean they are not using it as motivation.
On lower left corner of Cubs workout schedule: pic.twitter.com/oOJfhKyo0q
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 18, 2019