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SimBull MLB: Which Chicago Team Is Better Value in 2021?

Earlier this week, the SimBull Twitter account posed this question: are the SimCubs or the SimWhiteSox a better value at their current share price?

SimCubs Analysis

The SimCubs currently sit at a share price of $36.98. This is the fourth-most expensive share on the SimBull MLB market. The Cubs are tied for first place in the NL Central with a 32-26 record. However, my feelings haven’t changed on the Cubs since I ranked them as the fifth-most directionless franchise a short bit ago.

The Chicago Cubs prove that a team can be relatively competitive and still directionless. They currently sit at 24-22, good for second place in the NL Central. However, this team isn’t competitive enough and has too bleak of a future to avoid this list. The Cubs are running on the fumes of the 2016 World Series winning roster. It’s clear that their roster will not be in serious contention for a World Series title in the 2021 MLB season, at least not as currently constructed. After this year, the free agents start to pile up. Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Craig Kimbrel will all become free agents. Willson Contreras will enter his first year of arbitration. This team is headed nowhere very fast, and everything could fall apart as soon as next offseason.

Karl Heiser, 2021 MLB Season: The Top 5 Most Directionless Franchises

The Cubs aren’t really in a good spot from a personnel standpoint, and I’d say it’s far more likely their share price will fall in the future than hold.

SimWhiteSox Analysis

The SimWhiteSox have a share price of $37.88, good for the third-most expensive price on the SimBull MLB market. They lead the AL Central by 3 games with a 35-23 record. Through 58 games, metrics seem to suggest that the White Sox’ record is a very accurate reflection of their on-field production. Of all MLB teams, they rank fourth in batting average, first in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage, and third in on-base plus slugging (OPS). Offensively, they are a top five team in all of baseball. Their pitching has also been really solid. Among all teams, the White Sox staff ranks fifth in earned run average (ERA), tenth in opponent batting average, and eighth in walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). In every metric I’ve listed for hitting and pitching, the Cubs rank below the White Sox.

The Verdict

I would say the SimWhiteSox are a better value than the SimCubs. While the Cubs are fueled by their aging core, the White Sox are trending upwards and have only gotten better over the last two seasons. I think they would be a better buy in both the short-term and long-term. I trust the White Sox more for getting immediate win payouts this year. In two to three years, I think the SimWhiteSox maintain or build on their current value while the SimCubs will almost certainly take a big dip. For what it’s worth, FanGraphs’ probability model gives the White Sox over an 80% chance of making the playoffs at this point in the season while it gives the Cubs just a 33.3% chance.

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Disclaimer: I want to clearly communicate that this is all my opinion and my individual assessment of value. I am not a financial advisor. Be smart with how you invest your money.

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