Chicago Cubs


Chicago Cubs

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Team Strengths: The Cubs’ infield remains arguably the best in baseball, with Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and David Bote representing the six-deep group and Ian Happ able to play in the dirt too. With that infield leading the way, the Cubs finished in the top 10 in MLB in runs (9th), batting average (4th) and OPS (10th) last season. The pitching staff took heat, but the Cubs actually finished top 10 in ERA for both starters and relievers.
Team Weaknesses: The outfield is full of famous names, but they aren’t actually that productive. Albert Almora Jr. and Jason Heyward have been average or below hitters the last three seasons, while Kyle Schwarber’s bounceback year was good but not exceptional. As such, the Cubs' outfield finished a middling 16th in runs above average last year, as measured by Baseball-Reference.
What They Did About It: Daniel Descalso, another infielder, was the only position player free agent the Cubs signed. There’s no outfield help coming from a bottom-tier farm system, either.
Final Outlook: The Cubs largely stood by as the rest of the division got stronger. Still, there’s too much talent present to not win 90-plus games and make the playoffs for a fifth straight year.

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