Sunday, May 26, 2024

Cubs Provided Bulletin Board Material From MLB Network

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In 2023, the Chicago Cubs surprised even themselves by being in the thick of the playoff race deep into September. They fell short of making the postseason, but it was a sign that good things were on the horizon. That carried them into the offseason, where they were expected to add what was missing to stay in the hunt.

Manager Craig Counsell, left-handed pitcher Shota Imanaga, and slugger Cody Bellinger were the highlighted upgrades and returning pieces the front office felt would push the Cubs over the hump. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks how they fire off out of the gate on Opening Day.

As of the time of this blog, the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals are the betting co-favorites to win the NL Central division (via DraftKings). The Cardinals took their medicine in their regularly scheduled one-off season of the decade to regroup. The Brewers are expected to take a significant step down after losing their manager and ace pitcher, Corbin Burnes. The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates are young and pesky, but they’re still learning to win together, much like the Cubs last year.

Locally, the buzz around the Cubs is primarily positive. Most feel this division is theirs to lose with how close they came last year. They were a depleting bullpen away from sneaking into the seventh spot in the playoffs. The Arizona Diamondbacks snuck in instead. They took that spot all the way to the World Series before losing to the eventual champion Texas Rangers.

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The Cubs are bringing back a roster of mostly the same pieces to get the job done in 2024. It can be good when a team sticks together looking to improve on the season prior. However, one MLB Network host believes it’s a recipe for disaster for the Cubs.

MLB Network Host Has Cubs Finishing 4th In Division, Under .500

Breaking down the NL Central on Friday’s programming, Greg Amsinger of MLB Network predicted the Cubs would finish fourth in the race for the NL Central crown. He believes the division will be better because of the trajectory of the Pirates and Reds. Plus, he said the Cardinals will be back to normal. The only team Amsinger has finishing below the Cubs is the crashing Brewers.

Okay, Greg. You put your money on that.

He’s not wrong about the other four teams in the division. He’s just overestimating the Cardinals’ return and underestimating the Cubs. The Cubs added bullpen depth, re-signed Cody Bellinger, and added Michael Busch to hopefully bring consistency to first base defensively. The only holes right now are a defensive third baseman and filling out the starting rotation with their plethora of young pitching options.

Amsinger ended the segment by saying he believes Bellinger will have a terrific season and Justin Steele will win fourteen games for them. It’s almost like he knew he was wrong with how he was backtracking towards the end. If those two things happen, this team will not be under .500.

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blockwood9
blockwood9
Mar 11, 2024 11:53 am

Greg Amsinger sounds like he’s watched Major League too many times.

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