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5 bold predictions for the 2021 Cubs

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Will the two men in the photo be Cubs after this year?

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to go big and bold for the Cubs 2021 season, which begins Thursday.

Will these forecasts come true? Tune in after the season to find out how right, or wrong, I was. And add your bold predictions in the comments!

1) Even if the Cubs are contending in July, Kris Bryant will be traded anyway

If the Cubs are a contending team, a good year from Bryant would very likely be one of the reasons.

So why would they trade him? Because they aren’t likely to re-sign him when he hits free agency at the end of the season, and Jed Hoyer would probably want to get more than a draft pick for him.

David Bote, who will start the year as the Cubs’ second baseman, can shift to third, and Nico Hoerner will take over at second.

And speaking of Bote...

2) David Bote will have a breakout season

Here’s my forecast: Bote will hit .250/.350/.500 with 25 home runs in his first year as a fulltime player.

3) Zach Davies will continue what he did in San Diego in 2020 and be a Cy Young Award candidate

People love to complain about the Yu Darvish deal, but in addition to the four prospects acquired, the Cubs got a quality MLB starting pitcher in Davies.

His 2020 season extrapolated to 4 bWAR if it had been a full year, and I believe Davies hanging around Kyle Hendricks will up his game. At 28, Davies is also ready for a breakout season. And if he’s that good, the Cubs ought to offer him a contract extension instead of allowing him to hit free agency after the season.

4) Joc Pederson will hit more home runs in 2021 than Kyle Schwarber did in any of his Cubs seasons

Pederson hit .378/.431/1.000 (17-for-45) in spring training with four doubles and eight home runs. That includes 3-for-14 with a homer vs. LHP.

Small sample size, spring training, yada yada, I know the drill.

Pederson seems a man on a mission, to prove the Dodgers made a mistake letting him go. He, too, is a potential free agent after 2021. (There’s a mutual option in his deal for 2022.)

Prediction: He will hit 40 home runs, two more than Schwarber’s career high. I’ll go a bit further: Pederson’s OPS will be at least 50 points higher than Schwarber’s this year.

5) Anthony Rizzo will sign a longterm contract extension with the Cubs

See my article from earlier today for further details. It’s gonna happen.

Now it’s your turn. Make some bold predictions in the comments.

Poll

How many of Al’s bold 2021 Cubs predictions will come true?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    5
    (149 votes)
  • 19%
    4
    (300 votes)
  • 33%
    3
    (522 votes)
  • 20%
    2
    (324 votes)
  • 10%
    1
    (161 votes)
  • 7%
    0
    (110 votes)
1566 votes total Vote Now