Feb 27, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Bryan LaHair (6) during photo day at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Baseball-Chicago Cubs Team Preview

What could be worse than hearing the name Steve Bartman if you are a Chicago Cubs fan? Well, it may just be the way the Cubs 2012 season turns out. The Chicago Cubs payroll this year is going to be about $34,000,000 less than last year. Not a good sign when your team is coming off a 71 win season.

Key Arrivals

David DeJesus OF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ian Stewart 3B, Paul Maholm SP, Chris Volstad SP, Manuel Corpas RP, Travis Wood SP

Key Departures

Carlos Zambrano SP, Aramis Ramirez 3B, Carlos Pena 1B, John Grabow RP, Sean Marshall RP, Andrew Cashner RP, Tyler Colvin OF

Projected Batting Lineup

1. David DeJesus (RF)

2. Starlin Castro (SS)

3. Marlon Byrd (CF)

4. Bryan LaHair (1st base)

5. Alfonso Soriano (LF)

6. Geovany Soto (Catcher)

7. Ian Stewart (3rd base)

8. Darwin Barney (2nd base)

Sep 21, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza (17) shakes hands with catcher Geovany Soto after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Starting Rotation:

1. RHP Matt Garza

2. RHP Ryan Dempster

3. RHP Randy Wells

4. LHP Paul Maholm

5. LHP Travis Wood

Projected Bullpen:

RHP Carlos Marmol (closer)-see below

RHP Kerry Wood

RHP Jeff Samardzija

LHP James Russell

LHP Scott Maine

RHP Andy Sonnanstine

RHP Marcos Mateo

Most Overrated Player

Ryan Dempster-Ever since his stellar year in 2008, his ERA has climbed, with last year just soaring to 4.80(3.65 the previous year). His best year (as a starter) was the year after he made the transition from being a closer. I don’t expect his ERA to be as high as last year,but I wouldn’t expect him to put up the numbers that a #2 pitcher should put up. Expect some solid games from Dempster, but expect the losses to rack up and end with an ERA around 4.41 and an 11-15 record.

Most Under-Rated Player: 

Matt Garza-The last 5 years Garza has posted an ERA under 4. Last year was his best posting a 3.32 ERA. Although you shouldn’t expect much run support, Garza is a stud and should post solid numbers again. With the Cardinals and Brewers lineups losing Pujols and Fielder, that should help out his numbers more than people think. Garza was just under 200 IP so his arm is in good shape and should provide good numbers for where you can get him. Garza is one of the only bright spots the Cubs have, so don’t be afraid to grab scoop him up.

Mar 4, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Marmol (49) throws a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during a spring training game at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Sleeper:

Carlos Marmol-Although most people know that Marmol has nasty stuff, and after the horrific season he had last year, this may be the year to grab him late. He does play on a not so good team so he may not receive less chances to get saves compared to some of the top notch closers, but he does have the potential to put up deadly numbers. Give him a chance if you have another quality RP.

Editor’s Note: This article is a submission from contributor Alexander Decorte. Decorte is part of our fantasy baseball team currently in the midst of our season preview.

Tags: 2012 Spring Preview Bryan LaHair Carlos Marmol Chicago Cubs Matt Garza Travis Wood

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