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Prediction Week: Our Predictions

Before we start, let's take a quick look back at the rest of this week's festivities:

Monday: Jordan had a recap of our Community Projections
Tuesday: We invited you to take part in our Community Division Predictions
Wednesday: I recapped the results of our Community Division Predictions
Thursday: We opened the 2010 BCB Prediction Contest

Today, we close prediction week with a look at our predictions for the NL Central. Seven Brew Crew Ball contributors weighed in with their expectations for the 2010 season, and here's what we're predicting:

Team Wins
Cardinals 89.1
Brewers 85.9
Cubs 82.9
Reds 80.7
Astros 72.4
Pirates 68.3


Follow the jump for the individual predictions, and Roguejim's season preview!

As promised, here are our predictions, listed by contributor:

Team NoahJ TheJay Tristarscoop Jordan M Roguejim BrewHaHeather Kyle Lobner
Cardinals 88 88 95 89 85 90 89
Brewers 83 83 89 86 91 84 85
Cubs 80 85 83 81 86 83 82
Reds 78 83 85 80 81 79 79
Astros 73 75 76 73 66 74 70
Pirates 68 65 65 69 71 70 70


And, since Roguejim was kind enough to submit them, here are his thoughts on his picks:

Brewers: 91-71.  Last season, only one of the Brewers' original starting rotation finished the season with an ERA under 5, and the team still won 80 games. Losing Cameron is made up for by also losing Kendall and a .659 OPSing JJ Hardy, and the offense is one of the best in the NL. Although the rotation isn't made up of world-beaters per se, this could also be the best bullpen in the division.  (It should be, it's certainly the most expensive.) The one to watch: Dave Bush.  The Brewers need a solid #4 starter, and Bush has had a season ERA under 4.5 in 4 out of 6 seasons.

Cubs: 86-76.  An aging and decidedly mediocre offense from last year got older, though not particularly better, in the offseason.  Even with Lilly missing April, though, the Cubs starting rotation is still scary good, as is Marmol.  I think there are too many holes to reach the playoffs, though.  Raise the L flag!

Cardinals: 85-77.  The Cardinals have all of 5 good players, and 3 out of every 5 games, only three of them will be in the lineup. The Cards are only a Carpenter injury away from slipping below .500, and their rotation after Wainwright and Carpenter should make the rest of the division giggle like Japanese schoolgirls.

Reds: 81-81.  My darkhorse to come in 4th.  The Reds' ace is Bronson Arroyo, which means, even with Aroldis Chapman, the rotation is mediocre at best. As good as the infield is, it's balanced by the fact that the outfield is a giant question mark offensively.  (Heck, Laynce Nix might get regular playing time.)  I can see why they're a team on the rise, but even with budding stars like Chapman and Votto, right now, they're still pretty ordinary.

Pirates: 71-91.  That's actually 9 more wins than they had last year, which would be marked improvement. They're not without interesting players --- a Doumit here, a Garrett Jones there --- but I don't think there's enough to think about even a .500 season.

Astros: 66-96.  That's right, there's a new doormat in the NL Central.  Houston reminds me of the Brewers in the early 90s: minimal talent in the majors and years of neglect in the minors. Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt are still good, but showing signs of age.  Lee (age 33 in June) is good for .300 and 25 HRs, but his 2009 OPS was at its lowest level since 2005 with the Brewers.  Berkman (astoundingly only 34) is also putting up .300(ish)/25, though his HR totals have been declining for 4 years straight.  Oswalt (age 32) has seen his IP decline and ERA climb in each of the past 5 years.  There's not much else there, though.  I'd expect Houston to be a seller of fire-sale proportions come the trade deadline.