(CBS) Despite their inconsistencies this season, the Cubs still have a believer in the FanGraphs projections.
FanGraphs.com, which simulates the season 10,000 times for daily updates through its Cool Standings feature, projects the Cubs for 89.0 wins and 73.0 losses. Though they’re a game back of the first-place Brewers in the NL Central as they enter Tuesday’s tilt against the Nationals, the Cubs are the heavy favorites in the division, projected with an 82.4 percent chances of winning it.
Milwaukee (41-37) is given a 5.3 percent chance at the division crown and is projected to win 79.1 games. St. Louis (35-40) has a 9.7 percent chance at winning the division and projects to win 80.8 games.
The Cubs are 39-37 after holding on for a 5-4 victory over the first-place Nationals in Monday’s series opener. Their defense of the World Series title has come with adversity, with inconsistent play and individual struggles. Kyle Schwarber is currently playing in Triple-A Iowa, where he went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts in his first game Monday night. Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are all on the disabled list.
Despite the issues, the Cubs are projected with an 86.0 percent chance of making the playoffs (a 3.6 percent chance through the wild card), a 43.1 percent shot at reaching the NLCS and a 22.9 percent chance at winning the NL pennant.
The Cubs have an 11.0 percent projection to win the World Series for a second straight fall.