I don't know how many of you saw this article on FanGraphs this morning, but it's certainly an interesting read. Written by Dave Cameron, it goes into statistical detail about the 2013 Cubs and how they should be in a much better position than their record suggests. We've all gone over this and mentioned it before in game threads and postgame articles, but this was the first mention of "the Cubs are better than their record suggests" by an actual media outlet (if you consider FanGraphs a respectable media source). Some of the most notable stats and sentences are highlighted below:
- The Cubs are in a ridiculously difficult division, and this isn't their year to try and make a run for it, but the pieces that the team added over the off-season have made them a competitive team.
- According to the 3rd Order Win % at Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs have been the "unluckiest" team in the league so far this year. Their record "should" be 24-21.
- In fact, if you take the Cubs out of the picture, the worst record from any team that has a positive performance statistic is the A's, who are 25-23.
- Don't be surprised if the Cubs start winning more games over the next four months of the season. Based on their first 45 games, there are reasons to believe that this team is actually decent.
This article is basically claiming that the Cubs should be 24-21, and the closest team to compare them to is the Oakland Athletics. In fact, we've "outperformed" the likes of the Orioles, Giants, D-backs, and Yanks according to FanGraphs.
I know that most avid Cubs fans like myself have been in this mindset for most of the season... the, "we really deserve to have a better record than this" mindset. The, "how can we have 27 quality starts and only come away with only 11 wins in those starts" mindset. But this article from a reputable baseball statistical source confirmed all my suspicions. In fact, they crunched the numbers and deduced that our record should be 24-21 if we'd only get some more timely hitting and some better bullpen management/usage. So while what this article is saying is nothing new to Cubs fans, it's definitely a good read and confirmed every suspicion I'd had about this unfortunate start to the 2013 season. But if nothing else, it gives me hope. Hope that if we can clean up certain areas and resign/bring in the right guys in the coming several years, we can contend.
You can read it for yourself here: