Naturally, every team plays their division rivals the most. For the Cubs, that’s NL Central, and it’s been a pretty unpredictable division for the last few years. Definitely less predictable than AL West, for example. So, it’s a pretty natural conclusion that the Cubs’ division rivals will either give them a lot of wins or a lot of losses, which in turn decides if the Cubs make or miss the playoffs.
We’ll start by figuring out how the Cubs fared against their rivals in 2021.
- The Cubs were 4-15 vs the Brewers in 2021
- The Cubs were 9-10 vs the Cardinals in 2021
- The Cubs were 8-11 vs the Reds in 2021
- The Cubs were 14-5 vs the Pirates in 2021
Of course, the Cubs added Simmons and will likely add more, as well as lost Alzolay (a few months) and Heuer (the whole season), so it’s not entirely accurate, but pretty close.
The Brewers notably added McCutchen and resigned Boxberger, so a couple additions but the basic projections are there.
Cardinals sure look like position player strong, and offense will likely be pretty good.
The Reds traded Winker, Suarez, and Gray so far, so some of their strength is gone, but still a somewhat decent team.
Comparing them, it seems like the Cubs will likely struggle against Brewers’ pitching, the Cardinals’ offense, and the Reds will just be a pain in the side. Overall, the Cubs aren’t TOO bad of a team, but the Brewers and Cardinals are definitely better teams on paper.