The Cubs team BA at .271 and OBP of .341 is 5th highest in the league. According to Baseball Prospectus we have faced the 2nd worst pitchers in both leagues. So the obvious question should be why are we scoring so few runs so often. We've scored 4 or more runs 17 times. Our opponents have scored 4 or more 16 times. Now we come to an amazing disparity. We are 1-16 in those low scoring games. However, our opponents are 8-8.
Our OBP says we're getting men on base at a very high level. Why isn't it being translated into more runs. According to a formula based upon equivalent runs scored and equivalent runs allowed, our record through 34 games should have been 19-15 instead of the actual 14-20. It tells us that we underscored by 12 runs. However it also indicates our opponents have scored 20 more runs than they did.
Our opponents have a BA of .301 with RISP which might explain why they have scored more runs than normal. But one seldom discussed batting split may indicate where a good part of the problem lies. It has to do with getting the leadoff man in any inning on base. Our leadoff man in each inning has a BA of .246 and an OBP of .311. All other Cub hitters have numbers of .278/.360. Since there is a greater value to getting the leadoff man on base as opposed to a runner getting on with one or two outs, it seems that is causing our offense to score fewer runs than we need.
Who are the best leading off an inning Plate appearances and BA/OBP:
Soto 22 PA .353/.500
Byrd 29 PA .370/.414
Who are the worst:
Soriano 29 PA .200/.310
Theriot 66 PA .250/.273 Leading off the game 31 PA .167/.194 and in 35 games Cubs have drawn only 1 BB
Ramirez 31 PA .194/.194
Lee 29 PA .160/.276
Fukudome 22 PA .158/.273