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Cubs Heroes and Goats: The Wins vs. The Losses

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You've seen how the plus / minus chart ended for the 2016 regular season... but how did it look if you look at the wins and the losses as separate groups?

"Hey, man... whatever those charts say, don't let it get to you. You're still awesome."
"Hey, man... whatever those charts say, don't let it get to you. You're still awesome."
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Of the three years that I have done the Heroes and Goats feature, I would venture to say that this year has definitely been the most interesting. One of the main reasons for that feeling is that the feature feels like is has engaged readers a bit more than in past years, very likely due to the Cuyler and Marmol polls being a daily addition this year. The audience feels like it has also gotten a little wider this year than in the previous years as I've even gotten the occasional comment from readers on Twitter, which is most certainly a departure from the first two seasons. One thing is for sure: It's been a heck of a lot of fun.

And the best part is... the fun's not over yet. Not even close.

Over the past few weeks, I have had some requests come in from readers that wondered about how the chart would look if only the wins were considered as a group, as well as the losses. It was definitely an interesting take, one that I had not thought of before myself. Going into it, I wasn't really sure what to expect from the results; my only real thought was that the starting pitching would dominate the chart in the wins as they had done all season on the chart regardless of win or loss, but aside from that I didn't have a gauge on what the rest of it would look like. Some of the results will likely come as a surprise; others, not as much.

Also, as part of the exercise, I wanted to include the players' WPA that was earned in their podium appearances over the course of the season; I'll refer to that figure as the pWPA here for short (and if any stat organizations are out there reading this, you can gladly use it yourself as well... just tell people that I came up with it first). It's important to clarify that the pWPA is not necessarily the players' cumulative WPA for the season; it only reflects the WPA that they earned as a result of being in the top or bottom three spots for the game.

With all that said, here's a look back at how the plus / minus chart ended for the season as a whole:

All 162 Games

Hero

Goat

+/-

pWPA

Jon Lester

66.5

15

51.5

4.557

Kyle Hendricks

51

14

37

3.689

Anthony Rizzo

100

65.5

34.5

4.510

Jake Arrieta

46.5

19

27.5

1.594

Jason Hammel

36

24

12

0.959

John Lackey

30

20

10

0.467

Tommy La Stella

21.5

14

7.5

0.514

Hector Rondon

20.5

14

6.5

-0.056

Rob Zastryzny

7.5

2

5.5

0.035

Miguel Montero

34

29

5

1.451

Jake Buchanan

3

0

3

0.287

Felix Pena

2.5

0

2.5

0.344

Ryan Kalish

2

0

2

0.316

Munenori Kawasaki

2

1

1

0.156

Aroldis Chapman

6.5

6

0.5

-0.620

Travis Wood

22

22

0

0.086

Carl Edwards Jr.

8

8

0

-0.298

Neil Ramirez

1

1

0

-0.002

Spencer Patton

1.5

2

-0.5

-0.162

Joe Smith

6

7

-1

0.031

Joel Peralta

2

3

-1

-0.134

Gerardo Concepcion

1

2

-1

-0.049

Kyle Schwarber

0

1

-1

-0.027

David Ross

21.5

23.5

-2

0.709

Jeimer Candelario

2

4

-2

-0.189

Tim Federowicz

2

4

-2

-0.054

Chris Coghlan

11

13.5

-2.5

0.003

Mike Montgomery

6

9

-3

-0.164

Clayton Richard

3

6

-3

-0.160

Brian Matusz

0

3

-3

-0.354

Trevor Cahill

11.5

15

-3.5

-0.930

Adam Warren

11.5

16

-4.5

-0.467

Willson Contreras

26

32.5

-6.5

-0.046

Albert Almora Jr.

8

15

-7

-0.209

Dexter Fowler

51.5

59

-7.5

0.944

Justin Grimm

8.5

16

-7.5

-0.223

Matt Szczur

15

24.5

-9.5

0.174

Jorge Soler

28

39

-11

0.499

Pedro Strop

10

21

-11

-1.293

Ben Zobrist

59

71.5

-12.5

1.088

Kris Bryant

76.5

90.5

-14

2.728

Javier Baez

37

56.5

-19.5

0.353

Addison Russell

73

94.5

-21.5

1.913

Jason Heyward

40

88.5

-48.5

-1.545

As for the chart for the Cubs' 103 wins this season, here's how that breaks down:

The 103 Wins

Hero

Goat

+/-

pWPA

Jon Lester

55.5

3

52.5

5.616

Kyle Hendricks

42

5

37

3.685

Jake Arrieta

38

7

31

2.108

Jason Hammel

31

1

30

2.946

Hector Rondon

18

3

15

1.606

John Lackey

20

8

12

1.043

Anthony Rizzo

62.5

54.5

8

3.164

Aroldis Chapman

6.5

0

6.5

0.735

Carl Edwards Jr.

5

0

5

0.461

Jake Buchanan

3

0

3

0.287

Felix Pena

2

0

2

0.180

Ryan Kalish

2

0

2

0.316

Munenori Kawasaki

2

0

2

0.324

Joel Peralta

2

0

2

0.207

Joe Smith

2

2

0

0.249

Gerardo Concepcion

0

0

0

0.000

Jeimer Candelario

0

0

0

0.000

Mike Montgomery

5

6

-1

0.078

Neil Ramirez

0

1

-1

0.001

Kyle Schwarber

0

1

-1

-0.027

Pedro Strop

8

10

-2

0.344

Trevor Cahill

3

5

-2

0.046

Tim Federowicz

2

4

-2

-0.054

Clayton Richard

1

3

-2

0.171

Rob Zastryzny

0

2

-2

-0.310

Spencer Patton

0

2

-2

-0.167

Dexter Fowler

28.5

31

-2.5

1.314

Tommy La Stella

8

11

-3

0.374

Brian Matusz

0

3

-3

-0.354

Chris Coghlan

8

11.5

-3.5

0.188

Adam Warren

4.5

8

-3.5

0.285

Albert Almora Jr.

5

9

-4

0.111

Kris Bryant

55.5

60.5

-5

4.065

Jorge Soler

22

27

-5

1.317

Travis Wood

11

16

-5

0.125

David Ross

17

22.5

-5.5

0.521

Miguel Montero

18

25

-7

0.551

Justin Grimm

1.5

10

-8.5

-0.011

Matt Szczur

10

19.5

-9.5

0.764

Willson Contreras

10

20.5

-10.5

-0.016

Javier Baez

22

38.5

-16.5

0.723

Ben Zobrist

30.5

48.5

-18

1.194

Addison Russell

37

70.5

-33.5

1.822

Jason Heyward

19

68.5

-49.5

-1.077

As I expected, the starting rotation did end up dominating in the wins, taking five of the top six spots on the chart led by Jon Lester at plus-52.5 with a pWPA in the wins of a whopping 5.616, a figure that's even more amazing given that it comes from only 23 total podium appearances in wins for the season (21 Heroes, two Goats). One surprise was the appearance of Hector Rondon in the top five, with a plus-15 in the wins and a pWPA of 1.606. It's also very easy to see that the dominance of the rotation made it very hard for any non-pitcher to gain any ground in the wins as Anthony Rizzo was the best of the lot... and was only able to end up at plus-8.

It came as no surprise to me whatsoever that Kris Bryant had a monster pWPA of 4.065 in the wins, yet was only able to get to minus-5 as it seemed like he was constantly the hard-luck loser over the course of the season. He wasn't alone in posting a positive pWPA in the wins but ending up way down in the charts; just look at Addison Russell who had a pWPA of 1.822 and ended up at minus-33.5 for it. I must admit that I was a bit surprised that Jason Heyward actually was further negative on the chart in the wins (minus-49.5) than he was for the season as a whole (minus-48.5); at least the pWPA matched the chart position in his case.

And for the losses:

The 58 Losses

Hero

Goat

+/-

pWPA

Anthony Rizzo

37.5

11

26.5

1.346

Addison Russell

36

24

12

0.091

Miguel Montero

16

4

12

0.900

Tommy La Stella

13.5

2

11.5

0.195

Rob Zastryzny

6.5

0

6.5

0.301

Ben Zobrist

28.5

23

5.5

-0.106

David Ross

4.5

1

3.5

0.188

Travis Wood

9

6

3

-0.129

Spencer Patton

1.5

0

1.5

0.005

Jason Heyward

21

20

1

-0.468

Willson Contreras

13

12

1

-0.127

Justin Grimm

7

6

1

-0.212

Chris Coghlan

3

2

1

-0.185

Neil Ramirez

1

0

1

-0.003

Felix Pena

0.5

0

0.5

0.164

Kyle Hendricks

9

9

0

0.004

Matt Szczur

5

5

0

-0.590

Albert Almora Jr.

3

3

0

-0.259

Jake Buchanan

0

0

0

0.000

Ryan Kalish

0

0

0

0.000

Kyle Schwarber

0

0

0

0.000

Tim Federowicz

0

0

0

0.000

Brian Matusz

0

0

0

0.000

Javier Baez

15

16

-1

-0.312

Jon Lester

11

12

-1

-1.059

Adam Warren

7

8

-1

-0.752

Joe Smith

4

5

-1

-0.218

Clayton Richard

2

3

-1

-0.331

Gerardo Concepcion

1

2

-1

-0.049

Munenori Kawasaki

0

1

-1

-0.168

Trevor Cahill

8.5

10

-1.5

-0.976

John Lackey

10

12

-2

-0.576

Jeimer Candelario

2

4

-2

-0.189

Mike Montgomery

1

3

-2

-0.242

Joel Peralta

0

3

-3

-0.341

Jake Arrieta

8.5

12

-3.5

-0.514

Dexter Fowler

23

28

-5

-0.370

Carl Edwards Jr.

3

8

-5

-0.759

Jorge Soler

6

12

-6

-0.818

Aroldis Chapman

0

6

-6

-1.355

Hector Rondon

2.5

11

-8.5

-1.662

Kris Bryant

21

30

-9

-1.337

Pedro Strop

2

11

-9

-1.637

Jason Hammel

5

23

-18

-1.987

This was one area where I was truly surprised. With one exception, the starting pitchers in the losses were all pretty much podium-neutral. Except for Jason Hammel, that is, who absolutely got pummeled in the losses and ended up at a chart-worst minus-18. He was the true Jekyll-and-Hyde story of the rotation, putting up the best ratio in the Cubs' wins (31 Hero points and only one Goat point), but as the season went along it just fell apart for him. He also was tied for the most Billy Goats in the losses with six, joining Dexter Fowler at the top of that list. At the other end of the chart, it was in the losses that Rizzo made the most gains, posting a plus-26.5 in the losing efforts to go along with a pWPA of 1.346, which is quite impressive. Russell also appears near the top of the chart in the losses, posting a plus-12 while only earning a pWPA of 0.091 in the process (I call that the anti-Bryant). It was the losses that kept Rondon from being higher on the chart for the entire season, as his plus-15 in the wins was heavily offset by his minus-8.5 in the losses, which is to be expected; it's hard to be a closer and end up with a negative WPA in a winning effort.

So what did you think? Did the results match your expectations? Were there some results that completely surprised you? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.