Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2015 Razzball Team Previews! After the jump, you’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything folks. We’ve got projected line-ups and stats, Slurpee’s, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Oh, wait, yeah, like half of those things are actually what I have in front of me… But hey, what’s the point of lube and cacti if you can’t share? Truer words have never been written. And, as an added bonus, we also have a very special guest… Mauricio Rubio Jr. from the Cubs Den, to provide his take on what the team has in store for us this season. So without further ado (and plenty of lube and cacti), let’s check out the 2015 Chicago Cubs!

 

2015 Chicago Cubs Depth Chart & Projections

Starting Lineup

 Pos   Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG
1 CF Dexter Fowler 520 89 13 48 15 0.252
2 SS Starlin Castro 589 71 16 80 7 0.269
3 1B Anthony Rizzo 589 93 36 100 7 0.262
4 RF Jorge Soler 541 73 25 81 5 0.278
5 C Miguel Montero 477 45 14 62 0 0.238
6 LF Chris Coghlan 377 56 7 38 10 0.261
7 2B Javier Baez 518 62 22 54 12 0.209
8 3B Tommy La Stella

Bench

Pos  Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG
C David Ross
1B/3B Mike Olt
IF/OF Arismendy Alcantara 376 42 8 46 14 0.221
OF Chris Denorfia
OF Ryan Sweeney

Starting Rotation

  Pos   Player IP W SV ERA WHIP K
1 SP Jon Lester 211 15 0 2.92 1.08 206
2 SP Jake Arrieta 195 12 0 2.88 1.06 198
3 SP Jason Hammel 170 9 0 3.67 1.22 151
4 SP Travis Wood
5 SP Kyle Hendricks

Bullpen

 Player IP W SV ERA WHIP K
Hector Rondon 61 2 28 3.41 1.09 62
Pedro Strop
Neil Ramirez
Jason Motte
Felix Doubront
Jacob Turner
Edwin Jackson

Note: All projections are provided by Grey Albright. 

 

I’m now happy to welcome Maricio Rubio Jr., here to answer a few questions on the Chicago Cubs

I look at the Cubs roster and find myself thinking two things. First, Chris Coghlan… why? The second is, I don’t know whether this is a 90-win team or a 60-win team, and whichever the end result is, there are sure to be plenty of fantasy implications. What do you think needs to occur for the former to happen, not the latter?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.: Coghlan found a little something last year and the Cubs are desperate for OBP. I actually anticipate he gets serious burn in LF for most of the year. Your last point is spot on. There’s a ton of variability with the Cubs team, both of those outcomes are possible as they have an uber young roster with a huge propensity to swing and miss. If they want to win 90 they have to stay healthy in the rotation and not need too many innings from their bottom pitchers. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester have to have repeat their performances. Kyle Hendricks will have to stay on top of his game that is predicated on advanced scouting. He really has to anchor that 5 SP spot for them to be in serious contention. The ‘pen has to show up again and (now for the big one) their question marks on offense have to answer in a positive fashion. Javier Baez comes into this season with a ton of questions about his contact ability and his ability to play at this level. Kris Bryant has to produce in 2015 and both Soler and Arismendy Alcántara have to adjust to what the league is doing to them.

Tons of qualifiers, and sure it’s possible, but man, that’s a long list don’t you think?

Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantara… who has the better 2015 and what kind of production are you expecting?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.: Overall, I think Alcántara has the better 2015. Soler and Baez have more power potential and there is the possibility that their games mature in short order but I think both of them will have a few more learning curves to battle. Alcántara provides value across the board, if he fixes his infielder arm slot he can have a good arm to go along with solid CF defense and on offense he can hit a little bit while providing good speed and hitting for some sneaky pop. I like his skillset a lot and he’s learned at each level he’s visited.

Things like the 2014 Jake Arrieta happen once in a while in the great game of baseball, and it’s certainly fun to watch. Is there another pitcher on the Cubs roster that might surprise this year?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.: The guy I’m looking at here is Travis Wood, who has had an uneven career. He completely lost the zone last year which deeply undercut his pitchability (sequencing etc., etc.). If Wood can start repeating his mechanics and finding his spots again, he can return solid value.

Will Hector Rondon stay the closer for the entire year? If not, is his replacement currently on the roster?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.: I do think he will, but even if he doesn’t, the Cubs have acquired their fair share of power arms who can close. Neil Ramirez was spectacular last year, Pedro Strop is a solid option and don’t sleep on Justin Grimm.

And then of course there’s C.J. Edwards lurking in the minors. He has closer stuff, great arm speed, plus fastball and an absolute hammer for a curve. Profile screams “High Leverage Arm”.

If I started walking down North Sheridan screaming “Steve Bartman is a national treasure!”, how far would I make it before getting physically accosted?

Mauricio Rubio Jr.: The north side gets a reputation as a soft community by south siders, and I can see where it comes from. But trust me, you go around screaming that in Wrigleyville, and a pack of bros will find you within five minutes.

 

Want more of the Jay? Don’t we all folks? Don’t. We. All. Well, you, in fact, can have more. AMAZING. I know. You can find Jay enjoying his dig’s over at the Football side of Razz.

 
  1. the swinging says:
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    This team really has a shot to win the nl central. What’s the Vegas o/u on cubs total wins? Is that out yet?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @the swinging: last I checked, they were 12-1 for a WS win.

      • PBMAX says:
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        @Jay: That’s insane

  2. Clint says:
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    My question is will the Cubs lead the league in K’s, HR’s, both, or neither? Seems like a major flip of the fantasy coin w/these bats.

    • Bye Felicia says:
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      @Clint: broken hearts & shattered dreams. Just like every year Ha!

    • MRubio52 says:
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      @Clint: I think they lead in both. Tons of vertical elasticity with this team.

  3. Bye Felicia says:
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    You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig, just prettier.

    There’s a better chance of an earthquake hitting Chicago than the Cubs winning the central this year. 2-3 years? Maybe

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Bye Felicia: I’m not as high on them as others this year, as it’s a really strong division, but there’s still a lot of question marks. Cardinals have a lot of injury risk, for instance. 2-3 years seems like s stretch regardless.

  4. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Awesome write up Jay! These are going to be a lot of fun (and super helpful considering I’ve got a league where you pick teams and their final standings not players).

    You’re absolutely right about the difficulty to predict where this team ends up, and I’ve got a feeling it’s on the lower side of your 60-90 win prediction. They’ve just got too many things that need to go right:

    -The prospects all have to be able to produce in the majors
    -Arrietta has to prove the second half wasn’t a fluke and that the Orioles didn’t know what they were doing when they practically gave him away
    -Hammel has to prove the second half wasn’t a fluke and that there’s a reason he pitched worse in the more pitcher friendly park
    -Lester has to not check out because of his big-payday
    -Montero has to do something more than he was doing in Arizona (because if he doesn’t then there was no reason for the trade)

    I’m predicting a roller coaster ride of a season for them where some games everything clicks and they blow the other team out when Bryant, Soler, etc. start dropping bombs, and then long barren patches where they can’t catch a break and all their young players look like little kids trying (and failing) to sneak into an R rated movie.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Indeed. Though, I would say there are indicators that this is the real Arrieta going forward, and I would buy accordingly.

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Grey wrote a bit last year about how Arrieta really isn’t same pitcher (starting last year), as compared to his first 5 or so seasons, thus no matter whether his break out was “real” going forward or not, it’s not BAL’s fault, unless there’s something like they somehow stopped him from making whatever adjustments he made with CUBS.
      re: pitchers coming off just getting big new contracts. In Baseball Forecaster this year there was a short article about how around 53% or so of pitchers just coming off big contract bumps lost at least 15% of their prior season’s value. Hitters was a slightly smaller % that lost value after big contract ups.

  5. Jay says:
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    Something tells me I might like Montero in this lineup…assuming he can recapture some offensive life.

    off topic- but I had asked Ruby and Sky about renewing “Supa-Liga”. So generally, nw I am asking you as well. hoping someone can pick it up again. thanks.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Jay: I would love to see it picked up again, but as far as I know, Nick has all the commish permissions in that league.

  6. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Alcantara is intriguing this year, do you think he will become Madden’s new Zobrist, and what position eligibility do you think he’ll have this year? I have him stashed in my minor league system is why I’m asking, it would be nice if he could cover me at 2b while i reach for Xander this year.

    • MRubio52 says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: I think he plays all over and ends up with 2B/OF eligibility.

  7. Bammers says:
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    1 last pick in a dynasty points draft. Which of these prospects do you like the most? Odubel Herrera, Kyle Parker, Phillip Ervin, Chris Reed, Enny Romero, Brian Goodwin, or Victor Roache?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Bammers: Leaning Parker or Goodwin. I’d say flip a coin on those two.

  8. Udall says:
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    I know it’s not necessarily the venue but I’m desperate and I need help… And a new delivery guy cause mine got popped but that’s for another thread.

    12 team, lotta keepers, standard roto
    My Puig and melancon and 5th pick (two Cubans and Souza only interesting guys for early consideration) for his Arenado and 1st pick ??

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Udall: I’d probably hold here.

    • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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      @Udall: as your attorney i’d be very careful about what “threads” you supply info for that topic on, if it’s public.

  9. thorbs says:
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    Jay…been too long, my man!

    Nice writeup – what’s your personal take on a guy like Bryant? I see him as more of a Jay Bruce (pre-last year) sort of guy with a decent amount of swing-and-miss but prodigious power in a park that won’t hurt.

    I peg him for .260 – 25 – 5 with counting numbers reflecting a call-up relatively early in the season. What do you think?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @thorbs: Thanks! For his first year? I think that line is reasonable, but maybe under 20 homeruns. But I think he’s a superstar in his prime years…

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