Chris Jaffe looked at the Cubs worst starts and found that this 15-31 bunch ties for 5th worst with the 1962 team. Jaffe's article is worth a read. It's a brief article so it won't take you very long.
Last night I became curious how well the Cubs would have to play the rest of the season to reach certain win totals at the end of the year. Let's start with the most obvious one: how well do they have to play to win the division? Baseball Prospectus projects the Cardinals will win 90.5 games by the end of the season. So I decided to go ahead and calculate how well they'd have to play to win anywhere between 60 and 91 games.
|EoS Wins||RoS Wins||RoS Losses||RoS Win %|
EoS – End of Season
RoS – Rest of Season
PECOTA is projecting them to win 69 games (68.6 to be precise). They're expecting the Cubs to play 8 to 10 games under .500 the rest of the way. If the Cubs were to play .500 ball, they'd only accomplish 73 wins and the right to brag that they didn't lose 90. Playing .500 ball the rest of the way seems unlikely. If that's unlikely, what about the division? .655!
Maybe you're thinking the Cardinals could stumble and fail to win 85. That's true, but the Reds EoS wins projection is 88.1. For the Cubs to beat the Reds they'd have to play better than .635 ball the rest of the way. For what it's worth, PECOTA projects the Cubs have a 0% chance of reaching the post-season. It's not actually 0%, but rounding it gives you 0. PECOTA also projects the Cubs to finish in 6th place and have the third pick in the 2013 draft.
If the Cubs are to lose 100 they have to play no better than .405 baseball the rest of the way. I wouldn't rule that out though I don't think it's likely. I think PECOTA is too optimisic. I don't see this team finishing the season with 70 or more wins. If I had to guess I'd go with 67 or 68. The average of the 6 worst Cubs teams who started as poorly as this team is 66 wins.
I thought I'd also add that I'm beginning to wonder about whether or not it's even worth extending Matt Garza. Sure, it would be nice to have him around, but he's going to cost a lot of money and he's going to be playing on a lot of bad Cubs teams. I also wonder why Garza would even consider re-signing with the Cubs when he could join a contender when the season is done. If I was the Cubs, I'd be shopping Garza at the trade deadline.