The Cubs were a heavy favorite among Globe reporters and columnists in this year’s edition of their predictions for the upcoming baseball season. Five of six picked them to win it all, and all six picked Chicago to win its division.
Below is a compilation of their predictions and brief explanations, plus a look at the overall metrics of their choices. The Globe’s full 2016 baseball preview section will be published online on Friday, April 1, and in print Sunday, April 3.
Click a photo to jump to that writer’s picks.
AL EAST: Blue Jays — Marcus Stroman will offset the departures of David Price and Mark Buehrle.
AL CENTRAL: Indians — Even without a big payroll, Terry Francona can build a winning team.
AL WEST: Rangers — A return to health by Yu Darvish is critical for the rotation to complement a strong lineup.
AL WILD CARD: Royals and Astros — The defending champions are still potent and Houston has the transcendent Carlos Correa.
ALCS: Astros over the Blue Jays — Houston wins its first pennant since 2005, takes out Toronto in six games.
NL EAST: Nationals — Nobody is stopping Bryce Harper this season. Not even Jonathan Papelbon.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — Theo Epstein knew exactly what he was doing when he left Boston.
NL WEST: Giants — Either Johnny Cueto or Jeff Samardzija will emerge as a big winner behind Madison Bumgarner.
NL WILD CARD: Pirates and Dodgers. No playoffs for the Cardinals for the first time since 2010? At least their fans will understand.
NLCS: Cubs over Giants — Clinching victory in Game 6 comes from reliable John Lackey.
WORLD SERIES: Cubs over Astros in five games: An outraged President Trump refuses to invite the Ricketts family to the White House.
AL CY YOUNG: David Price, Red Sox — The Sox fall short of the postseason, but at least they have a legitimate ace again.
NL CY YOUNG: Jake Arrieta, Cubs — He has a 2.26 ERA since joining the Cubs in 2013. More success is coming.
AL EAST: Blue Jays — Marcus Stroman becomes an ace, Aaron Sanchez has breakout season and offense continues to crush.
AL CENTRAL: Tigers – Very balanced with strong staff fortified by Jordan Zimmermann and much improved bullpen.
AL WEST: Rangers — Love the lineup, starting rotation, and power arms in the bullpen.
AL WILD CARD: Yankees and Astros — The Yankees have enough in their starting rotation to get them to their fantasy bullpen, and the Astros’ younger players get better.
ALCS: Rangers over Tigers — Rangers’ lineup comes up big vs. Tigers’ pitching.
NL EAST: Nationals — OK, let’s try Washington one more time.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — Class of the league.
NL WEST: Giants — It’s an even year, and San Francisco has revamped its pitching staff.
NL WILD CARD: Mets and Cardinals — Mets may drop back a little bit. Defense might be an issue, especially in the outfield. The Cardinals get Adam Wainwright back but they will have some positional issues.
NLCS: Cubs over Giants — Power hitters Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant crush Giants’ pitching.
WORLD SERIES: Cubs over Rangers in six — Cubs break 108-year curse with Theo Epstein at the helm.
AL CY YOUNG: David Price, Red Sox: Every bit as advertised and completely dominant over 33 starts with 20 wins.
NL CY YOUNG: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: In his contract year, he’s ready to be outstanding.
AL EAST: Blue Jays — Bat-flipping their way to the World Series.
AL CENTRAL: Royals — Rocket Boys in bullpen get it done for Ned Yost.
AL WEST: Astros — Carlos Correa has MVP season for ’Stros.
AL WILD CARD: Indians and Red Sox — Tito’s Tribe beats Sox in one-game playoff at Fenway.
ALCS: Blue Jays over Astros — A hockey town over a football town.
NL EAST: Mets — One of the best young pitching staffs ever assembled.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — Theo polishes his HOF résumé for America’s Team.
NL WEST: Giants — Will they take Panda back at the deadline for World Series run?
NL WILD CARD: Nationals and Cardinals — Washington can hit and Cardinals are just always there.
NLCS: Cubs over Giants — Press box overflow. Entire sports media ditches ALCS to visit Chicago and San Francisco.
WORLD SERIES: Cubs over Blue Jays in seven — Lester MVP. Bob Lobel says, “Why can’t we get a pitcher and GM like that?’’
AL CY YOUNG: Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays — The next baseball megastar.
NL CY YOUNG: Jon Lester, Cubs — Lester says, “The Red Sox could have had me for half of what they’re paying Price.’’
AL EAST: Blue Jays — I’m proudly shooting for nine straight years of getting this division wrong.
AL CENTRAL: Royals — It’s now more embarrassing to be wrong by not picking them than wrong by picking them.
AL WEST: Astros — Mike Trout has never won a playoff game, ergo there’s no logical way to explain anything about the postseason.
AL WILD CARD: Indians and Red Sox — Cory Snyder and Joe Carter are finally ready to help Cleveland make the leap.
ALCS: Indians and Astros — I was wrong about the Indians last year, and I’ll probably be wrong about them this year.
NL EAST: Nationals — Even-numbered year.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — Will the Daily Herald run a “Best Team Ever” front page?
NL WEST: Giants — Even-numbered year.
NL WILD CARD: Pirates and Cardinals – The National League’s willingness to let contenders feast on the marrow of doormats is a compelling argument for EPL-style relegation.
NLCS: Nationals and Cubs — I was wrong about the Nationals last year, and I’ll probably be wrong about them this year.
WORLD SERIES: Nationals over Indians in 6: Bryce Harper will wake up the game.
AL CY YOUNG: Chris Sale, White Sox — He hasn’t given up a homer to a lefty since Sept. 2, 2012.
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers — After five straight top-three Cy finishes, it would be hard to take the field over Kershaw.
AL EAST: Blue Jays — Donaldson/Bautista/Encarnacion combine to mash 100-plus homers for East beasts.
AL CENTRAL: Royals — Defending champs make third straight postseason appearance for first time since 1976-78.
AL WEST: Astros — Xander Bogaerts is a Boston cornerstone, but Carlos Correa is baseball’s premier young shortstop.
AL WILD CARD: Red Sox and Angels — David Ortiz’s storied career gets one more October chapter; Mike Trout locks down another MVP
ALCS: Astros over Blue Jays in 7: Winning AL crown will finally stop us from still thinking of the Astros as an NL team.
NL EAST: Nationals — Bryce Harper will make sure they’re as good this year as they were supposed to be last year.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — Stacked roster will deliver franchise’s first 100-win season since 1935.
NL WEST: Giants — They’ll fend off Dodgers for division behind deep starting rotation and the strategic wiles of baseball’s best manager, Bruce Bochy.
NL WILD CARD: Pirates and Dodgers: Marte/McCutchen/Polanco reminiscent of Bonds/Van Slyke/Bonilla; Kershaw K’s 300 again.
NLCS: Cubs over Nationals in 5: Jon Lester earns the clinching win; Jonathan Papelbon avoids choking any teammates in defeat.
WORLD SERIES: Cubs over Astros in 5 — Hey, Theo Epstein does know a thing or two on how to properly end a curse.
AL CY YOUNG: Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays — 24-year-old righthander and former David Price understudy is 15-6 with 3.31 ERA in young career.
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers — He’s Koufax’s clone in achievement if not quite charisma.
Christopher L. Gasper
AL EAST: Yankees — The Empire strikes back with a power bullpen. Chapman, Miller and Betances are a relievers Murderers’ Row.
AL CENTRAL: Royals — The best bullpen in baseball smokes batters like famous KC barbecue and the rotation is improved.
AL WEST: Astros — Shortstop Carlos Correa is a generational talent and proof tanking in baseball pays off.
AL WILD CARD: Blue Jays and Indians — The Blue Jays bash and bat-flip their way to back-to-back postseasons; the Indians soothe LeBron’s departure.
ALCS: Royals over Yankees in 6 — KC wins the battle of the bullpens and radar guns.
NL EAST: Nationals — Led by Bryce Harper, this team is too talented to fail two years in a row.
NL CENTRAL: Cubs — The Cubs won the offseason, adding John Lackey and Jason Heyward, and now they’ll win the division.
NL WEST: Diamondbacks — Arizona can score runs, now they can prevent them with Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller.
NL WILD CARD: Mets and Cardinals — The Mets come up aces with Harvey, deGrom and Syndergaard; the Cardinals are the Patriots of MLB.
NLCS: Cubs over Nationals in 7 — The last time the Cubs reached the World Series, Jackie Robinson hadn’t been signed by the Dodgers yet.
WORLD SERIES: Cubs over Royals in 7 — In Theo I trust.
AL CY YOUNG: Chris Archer, Rays — One of David Price’s prized apprentices masters AL batters.
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers — Kershaw becomes only the fifth pitcher to win four Cy Youngs. He’s just 28.
A conversation with David Price, Brian Bannister, Alex Speier, and Peter Abraham: