Baseball Prospectus has come out with their annual PECOTA projections and today we'll take a look at the Cubs pitchers. For what it's worth, the depth chart over there has them projected for 5th in the NL Central with 71 wins. Only one team is projected to be worse in the National League (69 wins): the Miami Marlins.
I'm fairly sure that 71 wins is pretty close to any online sportsbook. The Cubs aren't exactly primed for a strong season in 2014. It's another rebuilding year. The 2014 season will mark season number four of the Cubs Decade of Rebuilding Plan.
Here are the Cubs pitchers (I calculated the FIP).
That's just sad. I'm fairly sure they're wrong on Samardzija. Something about PECOTA just doesn't like him, which was understandable a couple years ago. Nobody liked him and then the new front office promoted him. I think they did it to anger me, but turns out I was the fool. That happens sometimes. Probably a lot of times.
I like Travis Wood as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is related to him. Then I probably don't like him as much. Anyway, if he's the best starting pitcher on the team, you've likely got an awful pitching staff. PECOTA thinks the Cubs have just that.
Their bullpen could be fairly strong with ace relievers like Pedro Strop and Jose Veras wearing Cubs uniforms. There are a handful of teams that would be happy to boast they possess those two, but only the Cubs do. That's to their advantage right there. Throw in Wesley Wright or any other reliever they have and the Cubs bullpen might be mediocre.