Cubs century-old streak to end, give them their rings

Pitchers, catchers and fantasy gods like Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt are in their respective camps. It is never too early to ask who will win the 2016 pennant. After crunching the numbers, the Fantasy Baseball Algorithm (FBA) foresees the Chicago Cubs in the World Series come October.

Seven Cubs are listed in MLB.com’s top 100 fantasy projection. That is two more than their closest NL rival. And the list does not include free agents Ben Zobrist or John Lackey. Chicago is deep. Just like Washington was in 2015.

The oddsmakers at oddsshark.com see the Cubs winning the Central, with the Mets repeating in the East and Los Angeles reclaiming the West. The Nationals and St. Louis look good for wild cards spots, before the season actually starts that is.

The FBA works with fantasy projections similar to beer and bratwurst. If you plug in the projection name with the corresponding number below, then you should find which team is the likely pennant winner, barring injuries or Ian Desmond-like 2015 seasons.

Players rated 1-17 are superstars; they bring fantasy owners at least four contributions of five categories. Chris Davis only brings power hitting, but in the eyes of mlb.com, that is enough this year. By the way, defense or being a “good clubhouse influence” doesn’t matter in fantasy baseball, but it does in the real game.

Players ranked 19-49 will probably have great seasons; these guys bring solid numbers in multiple categories, but their power potential is a little less or pitchers might have a slightly higher rate of yielding base runners per inning pitched or less strike outs. That may mean something to a fantasy owner, but it means nothing at all to a fan looking to project a division or league winner.

Baseball players in 50-100 should product well in multiple facets of the game. Most of these guys are either up-and-coming or on the downside of their careers. David Ortiz, for example, is 40. He has played half of his life in MLB already. Still, the Cookie Monster is projected to hit 30 home runs and collect more than 90 RBI in 2016.

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