Simulator says: Cubs hurt playoff chances by demoting Kris Bryant

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

Take this with as many grains of salt as you take any kind of predictions this time of year: PredictionMachine.com has calculated that by sending down uber prospect Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs have hurt their playoff chances by 7.5 percent.

PredictionMachine.com runs something it calls The Predictalator, which simulates games 50,000 times to gather the most accurate predictions. 

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In the case of Bryant β€” who was demoted Monday, mostly because putting him in the minors to start the season will push back his free agency a year β€” The Predictalator says the Cubs have made a mistake that will cost them 1.4 wins this season. It lowers their playoff chances from 53.2 percent to 45.7 percent.

Writes PredictionMachine.com director of research and analysis John Ewing, who as far as we know is not Scott Boras in disguise:

If the Chicago Cubs truly care about winning then Kris Bryant should start the season in the majors.

Bryant hit nine homers in the Cactus League, the most of any player this spring. His bat is big-league ready, but he needs enough work defensively that the Cubs can justify starting him in the minors for the first couple weeks of the season.

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The Stew's Chris Cwik already argued the Cubs should start Bryant in the big leagues, because one win could be the difference between making the playoffs. The Predictalator jibes with that, and here are its numbers:

(PredictionMachine.com)
(PredictionMachine.com)

One caveat to consider: There's no guarantee that even if Bryant were to start for the Cubs on opening day, that he'd play 162 games. In fact, he most likely wouldn't β€” either because of injuries or rest days. 

As we know all too well in this game, 50,000 simulations can't account for a weird injury or prolonged slump. But 50,000 simulations can keep the Kris Bryant debate going, that's for sure.

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