as such, maddog over at tcnlbc points out one of the early projections, which uses this data to land the cubs squarely behind the cardinals at 87 wins and a wild card berth.
the base data is interesting, caveat emptor, and here's how some key cubs players look. first the starters:
and then the bullpen:
compared to some others -- notably bill james' projections for the pitching staff or even the 2007 zips -- these look somewhat more pragmatic and possible to this writer's eye. there just as little to object to in the individual offensive estimations.
is 87 wins then a good estimate of the approximate level of output for this club? this writer still finds that to be somewhat optimistic considering recent history, despite the ongoing difficulties of the major rivals within the division in finding starting pitching. it's hard not to agree with buccoblog when it wonders:
Someone tell me how the Cubs are going to be +184 runs. Anybody? 75 I see.. 125 a long shot.. but 184???? Man.. I do believe Diamond Minds blew a gasket on that projection.
indeed -- unless soriano turns out to be a minor god, squeezing 804 runs out of this offense will be impossible. perhaps there's a methodological error afoot in the diamondmind simulation, but the results are at least within the bounds of rational analysis.
however, clearly much is being laid at the doorstep of rich hill and mark prior (and, to a lesser extent, wade miller). in the estimation of this page, how they fare in 2007 remains the focus of real aspirations for october.