Chicago Cubs: Five players who will regress in 2017

Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

John Lackey

2016 stats: 11-8, 3.35 ERA, 180 K’s

John Lackey had a great season in 2016. He made 29 starts for the Cubs, and struck out 180 batters in 188 1/3 innings pitched. In addition to striking out almost a batter an inning, Lackey posted a career low WHIP in 2016 (1.06).

The 14-year veteran should get back to his career norms in 2017. That would mean Lackey would have an ERA close to 4.00 with around 15 wins. Expect to see a drop in strikeouts for Lackey this season.

If you look at Lackey’s number’s, you will see that he averages about 0.80 strikeouts per inning. Combine that with the idea that Lackey averages about 191 innings a season, and you can figure that Lackey will strike out about 153 batters in 2017. That is considerably lower than his total in 2016, but would still be normal for Lackey.

It will be hard for the 38-year-old to repeat his 3.35 ERA in 2017. The fiery veteran will do everything in his power to provide the Cubs with as many innings and starts as possible. The fact is, however, that Lackey has lost some zip on his pitches over the years. That will start to catch up with him in 2017 as he enters the last year of his contract with the Cubs.