SITE NOTE: You’ll note that Cub Tracks is not in this space as usual on Saturday morning. Duane Pesice’s internet has been out and so he was unable to complete the usual feature. We hope it’ll be back Sunday.
Before each MLB season, writers (including this one) post their predictions on how the upcoming season will play out.
Without fail, some teams do better than expected and some worse. Right now the Cubs are probably about where you expected them to be — a .500 club. (I thought, and still do, that they’ll wind up a bit better than that.)
In the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, we asked readers who they thought was the most disappointing team in each league. Here are the results for N.L. teams:
Well. I am guessing that you, the Cubs fan, aren’t too disappointed with the Cardinals being in last place in the N.L. Central with a 10-23 record, currently riding a seven-game losing streak. It has been noted by some that St. Louis is 6-17 with Willson Contreras as their starting catcher and 4-6 with backup Andrew Knizner starting behind the plate. They’ve got issues bigger than that, as their team total of 139 runs ranks 19th and their team ERA 21st.
Personally, I hope the Cardinals keep losing all the way through the middle of next week.
The American League survey results are also topped by a familiar team:
The White Sox lost 10 in a row before righting their ship, a bit, over the last week. After defeating the Reds Friday night, they’ve now won four of their last five. There are only two teams in the divisional play era who have won their division despite having a 10-game (or longer) losing streak during the season. The 1982 Braves did it, barely squeaking by the Dodgers (one game behind) and Giants (two games back). The other one was the 2017 Dodgers, who inexplicably lost 16 of 17, and 11 in a row, after being 91-36 and 21 games ahead in the N.L. West.
Personally — and this is said with no animosity, just observing — I don’t think the 2023 White Sox have what it takes to become the third such team.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of baseball left in 2023. We are about 20 percent into this year, so 80 percent of this season remains to be played. The teams that have dug themselves a deep hole, though, have a long way to go to climb out of those holes.