Chicago Cubs: Breaking down the PECOTA projections for 2019

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Always count on the professor

Fourth on the list is the professor, Kyle Hendricks. Coming off a “down” year, Hendricks looks to continue his productive ways entering his age-29 season. Last year, he posted a career-high in both starts and innings pitched. Hendricks finished with a 3.44 ERA. In the entirety of his career, Hendricks has been incredibly consistent. He does not strike a ton of guys out, limits his walks, and keeps the ball in the yard. Can’t ask for more than that.

Hendricks’ PECOTA projections place him with an 11-9, 3.92 ERA finish. Being realistic, it seems highly unlikely Hendricks’ ERA jumps almost half a run higher than his worst season. It’s foreseeable to project Hendricks finishes in the 3.25-3.35 range, if not higher.

The final piece in the puzzle is Yu Darvish. Unfortunately for everyone, Darvish was lost for the season shortly after it began. He did not pitch from May 20th on, and things ended in a disappointing fashion. Nevertheless, it seems Darvish is active on the trail back to his old self. PECOTA projections put Darvish at a 9-8 finish and a 3.78 ERA. If Darvish can stay healthy, this is achievable. The 24 starts in his forecast is hopefully a low-ball number, as Cubs fans wait in anticipation for him to fully arrive.