Not so fierce competition
Looking through the projected rotations of the remaining N.L. Central teams, it should be understood that the Cubs will win out every time, at least on paper. The Cubs also have the best No.4 starter out of any team in the division.
Jose Quintana will also face weaker lineups in the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, giving him an added advantage through the season.
With this in mind, Quintana should find himself at an advantage this season.
Projecting the possibility
It seems at times Jose Quintana is the forgotten son in what is a top three rotation in all of baseball. This season will ultimately give Cubs fans an opportunity to feel like they are getting to know Quintana as a pitcher.
Moreover, Quintana carries an exceptional level of durability, which again, is necessary for a Cy Young candidate. His four straight thirty-two start seasons are remarkable. In those seasons, Quintana also has WAR totals of 5.1, 4.7,4.7, and 3.9. He will be an impact player, barring any injury of course.
As has been noted, ZiPS currently has Quintana projected at a sublime 14-7 and a 3.19 ERA. ZiPS expressly projects Quintana to post a 4.9 WAR and 3.17 FIP. At the same time, his HR/9 is calculated to decrease significantly as well.
Needless to say, as long as Quintana can stay healthy, there should be no reason as to why he can’t reach these heights. Indeed, if he can pitch at the level of where his projections lie, Quintana will indeed find himself in the conversation to take home his very first Cy Young award.