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2024 MLB Season Outlook: Chicago Cubs Preview, Predictions And Expectations

The Chicago Cubs have a chance to build on last season. The team took steps forward and should be contenders in the NL Central once again. And the offseason is not over. There is still time for the Cubs to improve if they want to add to their team — or potentially re-sign some pieces that are still free agents.


Record: 83-79, 2nd in NL Central

Postseason: N/A

The Chicago Cubs missed the postseason for the third consecutive year but took big steps forward after being busy during the offseason. Dansby Swanson signed a long-term deal, Cody Bellinger resurrected his career, and Chicago was able to eclipse 80 wins for the first time since 2019.


Key Losses: SP Marcus Stroman, 1B Cody Bellinger (free agent)

Key Additions: RP Hector Neris, SP Shota Imanaga,

There will be a bit of turnover for the Cubs this season. Just how good can the team be? It depends on the replacements that were brought in.

Let’s begin with the rotation. Stroman bolted for the Bronx but the Cubs were able to make a sizable move, giving Shota Imanaga a four-year deal. Chicago was in play for Yoshibonu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani early but quickly fell out of contention. The front office was able to pivot for another Japanese star that is expected to be successful at the Major League level.

Imanaga joins Jameson Taillon and Kyle Hendricks in an experienced rotation. Justin Steele took another step toward becoming an ace last season and at 28 years old now, the Cubs need the left-hander to fully enter his prime. Steele started 30 games last season and itched to a 3.06 ERA in 173.1 innings. There are high hopes for the top of the rotation.

Diving into the lineup, Cody Bellinger is the big loss but he could always be brought back. It is now the second week of February and Spring Training is right around the corner. Bellinger is currently unsigned and might not be getting the contract that he wants. This was the case last offseason as well and he took a one-year deal with the Cubs. Bellinger might not sign for one year again but if it is team-friendly, Chicago could always bring him back to place in the middle of the lineup.

Bellinger resurrected his career a bit in 2023, hitting .307 with 26 home runs and 97 RBI. He scored 95 runs and struck out just 87 times. This is a premiere bat that the Cubs could reinsert with the likes of Mike Tauchman, Nico Hoerner, and Ian Happ.

There is depth and star power in the lineup for the Cubs. Dansby Swanson was the home run free-agent acquisition last year as the Cubs lured the shortstop out of Atlanta. He hit .244 but finished with 22 home runs and 80 RBI. We have seen slow starts for many players once the new contract is signed. Swanson is not a question mark moving forward. Seiya Suzuki is another consistent bat who finished at .285 last season. Finish it off with Christopher Morel, who is a threat to hit 30 home runs this season, and the Cubs are looking strong.

It takes time for teams to build back up. We are talking about a franchise that made three consecutive NLCS appearances and ended a historic World Series drought with a title in 2016. Now, it looks like the team is back on the rise and should contend for an NL Central title in 2024.

Potential Starting Lineup

  1. Mike Tauchman, OF
  2. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  3. Ian Happ, OF
  4. Seiya Suzuki, OF
  5. Dansby Swanson, SS
  6. Christopher Morel, DH
  7. Michael Busch, 1B
  8. Yan Gomes, C
  9. Nick Madrigal, 3B

Potential Rotation

  • Justin Steele
  • Jameson Taillon
  • Shota Imanaga
  • Kyle Hendricks
  • Jordan Wicks

Final Record Prediction: 86-76


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