Steamer projections already forecast the Cubs (47.7 WAR) as the third-best team for 2018, behind only the reigning NL champion Dodgers (49.7) and World Series champion Astros (51.2).
Most of the Cubs’ encouraging projection is attributed to stellar positional WAR, as no other NL team is forecasted to produce more than the 29.1 than the 2016 World Series champs.
But the Northsiders’ pitching (18.5 WAR) projects to only 10th best in MLB at this point in the offseason. If the Cubs were to add Yu Darvish, however, that WAR projection shoots up to 22.1, which would be the best pitching projection in MLB, along with the Dodgers.
So what we’re saying is that if the Cubs sign Darvish, they would have both the best positional and pitcher WAR projections and would be the favorite to win it all next season according to Steamer’s computer model. The season isn’t played in a computer and we’ve still got a lot of offseason left, but it sure appears that pushing the chips in on Darvish would make the Cubs a much better team.