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Cubs Stock Market Report: Memorial Day weekend

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Anthony Rizzo is heating up along with the weather.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Blue-Chip Stocks:

Anthony Rizzo: Slide aside, Rizzo had an excellent week to cap off what has been an even better month of May. Rizzo went 8-for-19 with a home run, six runs batted in, and seven walks. This amounted to a .421/.577/.632 line, good for a 233 wRC+. Through May 28th, Rizzo’s line for May now sits at .295/.396/.557. His BB/K ratio is almost 2:1 for the month, to go along with a 155 wRC+. The heart of this Cubs lineup is back, and it looks like he’s here for good.

Albert Almora Jr.: All this guy does is hit. Almora went 8-for-20 with three doubles, culminating in a 160 wRC+. And he had a stellar grab in center against the Pirates to cap it off. More Almora plz.

Mike Montgomery, The Starter: MiMo was forced to make a spot start on Monday after Yu Darvish landed back on the disabled list, and he did not disappoint. Montgomery pitched 5.2 innings, taking a perfect game into the fifth before giving up a single. He didn’t allow a runner to reach second base, and gives the Cubs’ brass something to think about going forward.

Saturday Night Games at Wrigley Field:

Living in DeKalb, I don’t get to go to nearly as many Cubs games as I wish I could, and Saturday night’s game against the Giants was my first this season. But in my totally unbiased opinion, there isn’t a better venue in sports to watch a game than Wrigley Field.

Solid Investments:

Javier Baez: Javy had another impressive week at the plate, going 7-for-25 with two homers, four runs batted in, and two stolen bases. He still has yet to earn a walk in the month of May (!!), but his slugging percentage of .505 and ISO of .247 for the month will definitely compliment his usually stellar defense.

Ian Happ: This is the ninth week I’ve been doing this feature, and Happ’s line this week is easily the weirdest I’ve seen so far. He went 1-for-9, but that one hit was a home run. He also walked four times and stole a base, amounting to a .111/.385/.444 line worth 134 wRC+. Small sample sizes are fun. The walks are definitely encouraging, and as of the morning of May 29, Happ’s line for the month sits at .241/.431/.630, good for 172 wRC+. Now if only the Cubs could start two players in center field.

Justin Wilson: It was another solid week for Wilson on the mound, pitching 3⅔ innings, only giving up one hit and a walk, while striking out three. He seems to blow up on the mound every now and then, but in 22 appearances this year, he has only given up a run in four of them.

Penny Stocks:

Tyler Chatwood: What a horrendous week for Chatwood. In 5⅓ innings over two starts, Chatwood gave up seven earned runs, 10 hits, and 11 walks. (!!) The 11 walks culminated in a 18.58 BB/9 ratio, a stat that burns the eyes indeed. On the year, Chatwood has walked nearly a batter per inning, something that will get him relegated to a bullpen role in the near future if he can’t refine his command.

Kris Bryant: For the first time this year, Bryant finds himself in the Penny Stocks. Bryant went 5-for-25, with two doubles, but he struck out seven times and only walked twice. It was a forgettable week for Bryant at the plate, one that was worth a measly 47 wRC+.

Buy/Sell:

Buy: Anthony Rizzo’s slide was ‘dirty.’ Rizzo’s slide into Elias Diaz intended to make contact with him, because that’s what you do when you’re trying to break up a double play. Whether you think that’s dirty or not, that’s up to you. Would I be upset if the same play happened to Willson Contreras? Of course. But if Diaz didn’t want to run the risk of getting his leg taken out, he should have held on to the ball. It was a hard slide from Rizzo, but he was playing the game the right way, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

Sell: Anthony Rizzo is a dirty player. I haven’t seen anyone advocating that Rizzo is a dirty player on this site, but I’ve seen it a lot on Twitter and a couple other sites who may or may not be in the Cubs’ division... Let me put this to rest, Rizzo is not, by any means, a dirty player. He plays the game the way it should be played, with the intent to win.

Buy: Albert Almora needs to be playing in center everyday. Almora is second on the Cubs in terms of fWAR with 1.7 fWAR. He’s always been a better hitter against southpaws, and it’s no exception this year, as he’s hitting .356 against them. But what’s even more impressive, is that he’s hitting .309 against righties. Almora needs to be in center field every day, not only because he’s the best defensive outfielder on this team, but because he’s a pretty darn good hitter too.

Sell: Ian Happ needs to sit in place of Almora. After getting off to a rough start in April, Happ has really turned it around in May, as noted above. Happ’s versatility can be utilized more, and it needs to be at the expense of Addison Russell, and more primarily, Jason Heyward. Happ is a natural second baseman, and I know that he has only played one inning at second this year, but like Almora, Happ needs to be in the lineup, and his positional versatility can help that cause.

Buy: Mike Montgomery is a quality starting pitcher. Montgomery was stellar in his outing against the Pirates, and is more than capable of holding down a spot in the rotation in Darvish has an extended absence.

Sell: It’s time to make Montgomery a staple of the rotation. The start by Montgomery was fantastic, but let’s pump the brakes a little bit. It was just one game. In 69⅓ innings as a starter in 2017, he owned a 4.15 ERA over 14 starts. Good, but not great. Montgomery has the tools to be a quality starting pitcher, and it’s a good dilemma to have for the front office. But his versatility out of the bullpen and his ability to be a spot starter may outweigh his value as a starting pitcher.

Poll

Which Cubs player is most likely to find himself in the penny stocks next week?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Anthony Rizzo
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Albert Almora Jr.
    (4 votes)
  • 10%
    Mike Montgomery
    (12 votes)
  • 13%
    Javier Baez
    (16 votes)
  • 24%
    Ian Happ
    (28 votes)
  • 30%
    Justin Wilson
    (35 votes)
  • 12%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (14 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now