Chicago Cubs Predictions: Looking to the 2018 season

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Alex Patt

The Chicago Cubs should at least win the NL Central. Their drive this year feels much higher than last year’s because they were still riding the World Series win. Expect a much more energized team in the first half and getting off to a better start than last season.
The starting pitching, if healthy, will be a top-five rotation in baseball. This includes Jon Lester bouncing back and Jose Quintana finding his consistency again. The offense should also be a top-five scoring offense with around 200+ homers as a team and a very good team on-base percentage. With all of that being put together, they should win around 95ish games, maybe even more.

NL Central Standings:

1. Cubs – 95 wins
2. Cardinals – 87 wins
3. Brewers – 85 wins
4. Pirates – 75 wins
5. Reds – 74 wins

Matt Thomas

The Cubs boast as deep a lineup as there is in baseball, providing good health and a likely bounce back by several role players who got off to slow starts in ‘17. Even with the well-documented struggles of Heyward, Russell, Zobrist, and Schwarber, the 2017 Cubs finished the season second in runs scored and third in both OPS and home runs. Simply accounting for the law of averages, the offense should be even better in ‘18. This lineup has a legitimate shot to have six players finish with 25 or more HRs, and could wind up with three 40-homer bats.

Combining this lineup with strong defense, an improved starting rotation (swapping out Arrieta and Lackey for Darvish and Chatwood), and an underrated bullpen that is better top-to-bottom than they were a year ago, the 2018 Cubs could realistically wind up with the best record in baseball.

NL Central Standings:
1. Chicago Cubs 106-56
2. St. Louis Cardinals 88-74
3. Milwaukee Brewers 87-75
4. Cincinnati Reds 73-89
5. Pittsburgh Pirates 69-93

Adam McGinnis

How awesome would it be to have a Cubs-Red Sox World Series? Two classic franchises. This year’s Cubs team looks sturdier than they did in 2016. The rotation is stronger than it was two years ago, at least on paper anyway. The lineup is still young but much more experienced this time around. Depth seems to be a significant strength for this team as well. Especially in the outfield. The bullpen, which has been the Cubs’ most prominent weak spot the past couple years, improved a lot this offseason.

The Cubs are going to the World Series this year. And they’ll be spearheaded by 2018 NL Cy Young winner Kyle Hendricks.

NL Central Standings:

1. Cubs 98-64
2. Cardinals 85-77
3. Brewers 83-79
4. Pirates 78-84
5. Reds 74-88