As Spring Training comes to a close, many baseball insiders make their predictions about which teams will make the postseason.  With all the improvements the Cubs made over the off-season (mainly the addition of Yu Darvish) most analysts are picking the Cubs to win the division; that’s kind of an easy decision.  So today, just 3 days before the start of the 2018 season, let’s try pinpoint the Cubs win-loss record and team stand-outs. So, without further ado here are my bold predictions (drum roll please) …

Prediction number 1:  The Cubs will finish the 2018 season with a 97-65 record.  First place in NL Central Division.  The Cubs will edge out the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the division.  Although some experts are expecting the Cubs to run away with the division it may end up coming down to some of those tense inter-division games in September before the Cubs pull away from the rest of the pack.

Prediction number 2:  The Team MVP will be Kris Bryant.  Bryant will end the year with 33 HR, 102 RBI, .294 AVG,.405 OBP, and a .546 SLG%.  Bryant will most likely be voted to play in his third All-Star Game (but probably will not take part in the Home Run Derby) and end the year in the top 3 voting for league MVP.

Prediction number 3:  Bounce-back player of the year for the Cubs will be Kyle Schwarber.  My guess is that Schwarber will hit 35 HR, 95 RBI, .260 AVG, .380 OBP, with a .566 SLG%.  Schwarber shed a lot of weight in the off season and came to Spring Training ready to play.  He has been working very hard to improve defensively and it will pay off.  He will play well enough not to embarrass himself in left field, but Maddon will still replace him with a better glove in late innings of a close game.

Prediction number 4:  Surprise Cubs contributor will be Albert Almora Jr.  I’m prediction that Almora will hit 15 HR, 75 RBI, .280 AVG, .328 OBP, with a .469 SLG%.  Right now, the biggest road block for Albert Almora Jr. is a lack of playing time.  While he will likely play more this season than he has the past couple of years, there is just so much talent on the field that it is hard to find playing time to allow Almora to showcase what he can do.  Look for Almora’s name to be thrown around in trade talks.

So, there you have it, four bold predictions for the upcoming season.

 

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