This is a bit old (from about the 15th), but I just ran into it today and figured someone might be as interested in it as I am. An early Diamond Mind simulation of the '08 season favors the Cubs. They use Diamond Mind Baseball and the CHONE projections.
Certainly take these with a grain of salt; last season's DMB projections from SG had the Cardinals winning the division by a hair. PECOTA was the only projection system that foresaw the Cardinals having problems last season.
But we'll take what we can get for now. Some interesting data points to discuss:
- The division seems to fall off after the Brewers and the Reds significantly. That seems to agree with what most of us around here see when we look around the Central. The projections seem to see Cincy having a (slighly) losing record.
- Our lead over the Brewers is slight - about 3-4 games. That's why our odds of winning the division are only 47% to their 24%. (The Reds have a 19% chance, sayeth the simulation.) So even though the Cubs look like strong favorites, there's still a lot of work to be done.
- Last year the Cubs scored 752 and allowed 690. The simulation sees us scoring 804 and allowing 765; essentially the Cubs' returns improving the offense are expected to do no more than offset our regression on pitching/defense.
- The Astros gain a whole two wins over last season and the White Sox actually get worse. And I had it on good authority from Phil Rodgers that both teams had shown real improvement!