This Cubs season is turning out a bit odd, numbers-wise.
The Cubs are at +33 in run differential — that’s good! They are thus underperforming their Pythagorean record, they should be 19-13 with that mark.
As you might guess, a fair amount of that differential is because of games like Monday night’s. The Cubs have scored 10+ runs in five of their 17 wins. That’s a lot. The run differential in those five wins is +46, thus they are -13 in the other 27 games, with a record of 12-15 in those games. That’s actually exactly on the Pythagorean calculation for those other 27 games, in which the Cubs have scored 84 runs and allowed 97.
The Cubs still rank second overall in runs per game in the N.L. at 5.03. They’re fifth-best in the N.L. in runs allowed at 4.00. Keep up the first and that’s another 800+ run season. The latter is going to have to improve.
Site note: Today I introduce to you someone you already know, BCB member The Deputy Mayor of Rush Street, as a site moderator. The Dep is always around, especially in game threads, and will be helping out Josh and me with moderating. The only thing I ask of people here is to please be nice to others, and follow the site rules. Welcome Dep to the BCB staff!
Here are today’s particulars.
Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP vs. Jose Urena, RHP
Jen-Ho Tseng made two appearances for the Cubs last year. One was good, the other not so much. His three outings in spring training this year weren’t impressive (4⅔ innings, 5.79 ERA), and this year at Iowa he’s been just plain bad in all six starts: 8.04 ERA, 1.851 WHIP, six home runs allowed in 31⅓ innings.
Tseng has talent, he had a good year in 2017 split between Tennessee and Iowa, and he can succeed at the big-league level if he keeps the ball down. His skillset is similar to Kyle Hendricks — not saying he’s as good as Hendricks, only that he can get outs in similar fashion. Hope that happens tonight.
The Cubs faced Jose Urena Opening Day in Miami. He hit two batters, and they also hit two homers off him (Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo). Urena has talent and his last two starts have been good (two runs in 14 innings) against a couple of good-hitting teams (Rockies, Phillies). So don’t expect this one to be as easy as the other one.
Over the course of his career Urena has pitched worse on the road (5.53 ERA, 149⅔ innings) than at home (4.03 ERA, 205⅓ innings), so there’s that. He’s made just one road start this year and got hit pretty hard (at Milwaukee).
Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.
Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes. If you do go there to interact with Marlins fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.