The Cubs had two major story lines through their 2015 season; the emergence of their young hitters and the dominance of Jake Arrieta. Unfortunately, both faltered down the stretch as the Cubs were swept out of the NLCS.
However, early projections have the Cubs most important pitchers ready to take another dominant role in the 2016 season. The 2016 Steamer Projections were released for both Arrieta and Jon Lester.
For Arrieta, it’s a return to the mean. No one would expect the possible Cy Young winner to keep up the same level he pitched with in the second half, but next season isn’t too shabby for Arrieta, if the numbers hold form.
Surprisingly enough, an ERA just below three and a WHIP just over one would make for Arrieta’s worst full season with the Cubs.
Lester’s numbers would be a slight improvement on his 2015 season. While nothing worthy of a career high, Lester’s improvements would makeup for Arrieta’s small decrease.
Of course, the biggest change in the Cubs pitching could come from someone who isn’t currently on the roster. The Cubs have made no secret of their intention to find a new starting pitcher for next season, through either free agency or a trade.
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