Two Months In…How Do the Cubs Look?

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The Chicago Cubs are currently 35-15 after finishing up both April and May.  Dabynsky over at Cubs Den has compiled a nice potpourri of stats to show how good the Cubs are right now, and eventually he’ll do it over here (PHRASING) but who knows with that guy.  I decided to do my little smorgasbord today because it’s June 1st, which means two full months (minus rainouts still to be rescheduled) have been played and we have a nice arbitrary endpoint to deal with.  Yay!

Just looking at the surface numbers

I’m just using Baseball-Reference for now, so here are some quick bullet points…

  • The Cubs are 35-15 as I said above, which is actually THREE wins below their expected Pythagorean record of 38-12.  The Cubs have been unlucky.  And they’re still the best team in the majors by record and by a bunch of other metrics.  Wow.
  • The Cubs have scored 275 runs and allowed 147, for a run differential of +128.  Like Len Kasper said the other day:

https://twitter.com/LenKasper/status/737317770417692673

https://twitter.com/LenKasper/status/737333843846430720

https://twitter.com/LenKasper/status/737342650408275968

  • And if you look at the batting stats, the Cubs are putting this all together while a few regulars are hitting like crap and the bullpen looks shakier than we’d like (Monday’s game notwithstanding, because WOW).

Around the League

The Cubs are 85 points better than the next winningest team (Boston), with a .700 winning percentage.  This is after devastating losses like the one on Tuesday night to end the month.  Oh noes.

  • Despite getting shut out four times, the Cubs have scored 5.50 runs per game, third in the majors behind the Boston Red Sox (expected) and the St. Louis Cardinals (because Devil Magic, but just barely better at 5.51).
  • The Cubs have done this without launching as many homers as we’ve come to expect, ranking 13th in the majors at 58 bombs (plus one or two off the video boards, hope they have insurance).
  • Part of this is because the Cubs lead the majors in taking walks with 234, 21 better than the next team (the Milwaukee Brewers?!) and in fewer games than much of the league due to rainouts and wacky scheduling.
  • Despite having only a .257 team batting average, which is barely above the MLB average, the Cubs are second to the Red Sox in on-base percentage at .356, and with a pretty solid OPS of .778 as they’ve been happy to take extra bases even without the #CUBombs.
  • Thanks in large part to Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have overtaken the Pittsburgh Pirates for hit by pitches, 32 to 31.  This is despite the Pirates’ penchant for bean ball wars and dick-swinging.

But what about the pitchers?

  • The Cubs are around MLB average at 3.0 walks per 9 innings, but have induced 8.8 strikeouts per 9 to keep people off the bases.
  • The pitching staff as a whole has a 2.65 ERA, nearly a third of a run better than the Washington Nationals.
  • Despite winning 35 games, the Cubs only have 10 saves, 9 by Hector Rondon, who I’m sure doesn’t mind just lounging on the couch collecting his money.  The other save was from Clayton Richard, who has fallen on hard times but we’ll see when the Cubs decide to cut him loose, if they do.
  • Additionally, despite Anthony Rizzo being used for target practice, Cubs pitching has only hit 16 batters so far this season.  No retaliation, just got away.
  • By ERA+, the Cubs pitching staff is at 154, 12 points better than the Nationals.
  • The Cubs have given up the fewest home runs in the majors, tied with the Miami Marlins, who play in an airplane hangar so you really gotta get it (or be Giancarlo Stanton) to hit one out of that monstrosity.

Fun with the record

  • The Cubs are 18-7 at home and 17-8 on the road through 50 games.  All they do is win, whether it’s at your house or theirs.
  • The Cubs finished April with a ludicrous 17-5 record, but May was only 18-10, so they’re clearly getting worse.
  • Given the current .700 winning percentage, the Cubs are “on pace” to win 113 games.
  • If you think that the “May swoon” is their true winning percentage, then that’s only 104 wins.
  • But wait, because they banked 35 wins in their first 50 games, that’s 112 games left, so that goes up to 106 wins!
  • The only teams the Cubs have a losing record against are the Colorado Rockies (?!), the San Diego Padres (?!?!), and the San Francisco Giants (eh, ok).  They’ve only played 3 games against each of these teams, so that’s pretty much meaningless and is just designed to piss you off.

Splits

  • The Cubs are 2-1 in extra inning games, which is cool.
  • Cubs are a coin flip (6 wins, 6 losses) in one-run contests.
  • However, they are 18-3 in blowouts.

And now we just have to get through the day and wait out the rain to see what June will bring.  Based on Wednesday night’s game (assuming weather cooperates), the Cubs will either go 0-for or never lose again.

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

One Reply to “Two Months In…How Do the Cubs Look?”

  1. Pingback: Cubs Can Win At Silly Baseball, Too – World Series Dreaming

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