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2018 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Current standings

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A look at the cumulative standings for Heroes and Goats and more.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s only been a few days since we last checked in on the standings, but with an off day we’ll take a look and see what happened while to the standings while the Cubs were in Colorado for the weekend. After this, the Cubs should finally get into a rhythm for the young season as they have nine consecutive games following Monday’s off day. The weather is turning and so maybe some normalcy will return.

We’ll kick things off today with a look at the standings for the season and then we’ll take a look at what the standings look like only in games that the Cubs lost. Then we’ll take a quick look at where the Cubs rank in the National League in some key statistics in the early going. Finally, we’ll take a look at tonight’s matchup with the Indians.

As a reminder, Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA. The highest WPA will be the Superhero. A superhero is worth +3 points in the cumulative standings. Second place is the Hero and that is worth +2 points and third place is the Sidekick and that is worth +1 points. On the other side of the ledger, last place is the Billy Goat and that’s worth -3 points. Second and third to last are the Goat and the Kid which are worth -2 and -1 points respectively.

Cumulative Leaders

Bold = In Minors (change since last update)

  • Javier Baez 14 (3)
  • Tommy La Stella 6 (2)
  • Steve Cishek 5
  • Kyle Schwarber 5 (1)
  • Ben Zobrist 4
  • Brian Duensing 3
  • Albert Almora Jr. 3 (4)
  • Kris Bryant 2
  • Kyle Hendricks 2
  • Efren Navarro 2
  • Pedro Strop 2 (2)
  • Brandon Morrow 2 (3)
  • Carl Edwards Jr. 1
  • Tyler Chatwood 0
  • Victor Caratini 0
  • Jason Heyward 0 (1)
  • Justin Wilson -2 (-1)
  • Ian Happ -2.5
  • Eddie Butler -3
  • Jon Lester -3
  • Jose Quintana -3
  • Mike Montgomery -4
  • Willson Contreras -5 (1)
  • Anthony Rizzo -8.5 (-6)
  • Yu Darvish -9 (-3)
  • Addison Russell -11 (-7)

Not at all surprising, Almora was the biggest positive mover with a +4 weekend. That moves him into fifth place on the young season. Baez continues to have a commanding lead at the top and Tommy La Stella has moved into second. On the down side of things, Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo absorbed almost all of the negative movement over the weekend. Addison was -7 and Anthony was -6. Addison has moved into last place and Rizzo has dropped into third to last. Yu Darvish sits between them and he was also -3 on the weekend.

A commenter made a suggestion earlier this year that we look at the standings only in wins and only in losses to see if anyone stands out more in the wins or more in the losses. A short while ago, we looked at how the Cubs were performing in wins. Now we’ll look at how they are doing in losses.

  • Baez 3
  • La Stella 3
  • Cishek 3
  • Duensing 3
  • Almora 3
  • Happ 3
  • Butler 3
  • Hendricks 2
  • Navarro 2
  • Strop 2
  • Schwarber 2
  • Bryant 1
  • Edwards 1
  • Chatwood 0
  • Lester 0
  • Morrow -1
  • Caratini -1
  • Heyward -1
  • Wilson -1
  • Contreras -1
  • Quintana -3
  • Zobrist -4
  • Montgomery -4
  • Rizzo -4
  • Russell -4
  • Darvish -6

The most obvious thing I see is that Javy is at +3 here and +14 overall, so he is massively contributing in the wins. Of course going behind the numbers, he was -4 in the first two losses and then +7 in the last six losses. So he’s still shining in just about any situation. Yu Darvish has already has two Billy Goat awards in Cubs losses. He’s the only one with more than one and that lands him in the bottom spot. We’ll check in on this intermittently throughout the season.

A Look At Team Rankings

The first thing I noticed, the Cubs have the fewest games played of any team in the National League at 19. The Rockies and Padres have already played 24. So we need to be looking at per-game statistics as there is too much disparity right now in games played. In runs per game, the Cubs lead the NL at 5.79. Second place is 5.48 (Braves) and third is the Phillies (5.05). The NL Average is 4.35.

The Cubs are second in team batting average at .258 (Braves .263 - league average .237), first in on base percentage at .349 (Braves second at .340 - league average .316), first in slugging at .425 (Braves second .422 - league average .383), second in OPS+ at 111 (Braves 113 - league average 94). So the offense is neck and neck with the Braves for best offense in the league (with almost no production from Anthony Rizzo to date).

The Cubs are fifth from the bottom in runs allowed per game at 4.53 (league average 4.31). Their ERA+ is right at 100, but league average is 103 and the Diamondbacks check in at 159. FIP has the Cubs at 4.29 (3.94), WHIP is 1.438 (1.288). One that jumped out at me was K/BB, the Cubs are at 1.88, tied for second to last (2.46 league average). No matter how you slice it or dice it, the pitching has been very disappointing so far.

Up Next: The Cubs begin a two game series with the Indians in Cleveland this evening. Obviously, this is the first time the Cubs have returned since they won the 2016 World Series there. Tyler Chatwood will be on the mound. He is still looking for his first win as a Cub. He’s 0-3 with a 4.60 ERA so far. Walks have clearly been the issue as he has issued 14 walks in just 15.2 innings. Tyler last started against the Indians in 2011. Without looking, I’m going to guess that most of the Indians on the current roster were not there at that time.

Josh Tomlin will be the Indians Starter. He’s made only two starts this season and none since April 10. In the two starts, he is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA. He’s pitched nine innings allowing 15 hits, four walks, nine runs (eight earned) and struck out four. He’s also allowed four home runs. Josh has never faced the Cubs in the regular season as a starter, but he did start two games in the World Series. He was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA over those two games. He allowed eight hits, two walks, six runs and only struck out one in seven innings of work in those two games. Obviously he was on a very short leash in both games, but the Cubs saw the ball well and of course many of the same Cubs are still on the team.