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Cubs Stock Market Report: Walk-off salami!

It’s David Bote Day!

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Chip Stocks

Cole Hamels: Hamels looked stellar in two starts on the week, pitching 13 innings and only surrendering two earned runs. Since arriving in Chicago, Hamels owns an ERA of 1.00 over three starts. While three starts are still too small of a sample size to call Cole Hamels the savior of this year’s starting rotation, he’s certainly pitching like the best starter on this squad.

David Bote: The legend of David Bote grows more and more with each passing day. Bote added to his fairytale season, hitting a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam to turn a 3-0 defect into a 4-3 win. Aside from the grand salami, Bote had another great week at the plate. Bote went 5-for-15 with a triple, a homer, and seven runs batted in. On the season, Bote is batting .329/.418/.539, and in just 91 plate appearances this season, Bote owns 1.2 fWAR. His 154 wRC+ would rank first on the Cubs if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Kris who?

Solid Investments

Pedro Strop: How much do we take this guy for granted? Since being acquired from the Orioles in the Jake Arrieta trade in 2014, Strop owns a 2.67 ERA, a 10.34 K/9, and a 53.5 GB%. Strop pitched two scoreless innings this week, notching a save in both appearances. Strop owns nine saves on the season, and has been tremendous as a stand-in for the injured Brandon Morrow.

Ben Zobrist: Arguably the most consistent hitter on this team, Zobrist put together another fine week at the plate, going 4-for-14 with three extra base hits and three runs batted in. Zobrist’s fWAR of 3.1 is second best on this Cubs team, trailing only El Mago.

Penny Stocks

Willson Contreras It was a rough week for Willy, recording just two hits in 18 plate appearances, striking out seven times without recording a walk. That earned him a wRC+ of -23. Woof.

Alex Rodriguez: Is there anything more this guy can do to make Cubs fans despise him more than they already do? He couldn’t stop talking about the Yu Darvish debacle last night, just digging himself a deeper and deeper hole while live on air. He’s also a pretty terrible broadcaster.

Buy/Sell

Buy: Cole Hamels will be the Game 1 Starter in the NLDS. If the playoffs started tomorrow, I don’t think you can make an argument for anyone but Cole Hamels to start the first game of the Divisional Series. Hamels has the postseason pedigree to start such a game, and he’s easily in the best form amongst Cubs starting pitchers. I know I know, the playoffs don’t start tomorrow. And while there’s another month and a half for another starter to emerge, Cole Hamels to regress, or Yu Darvish to become the ace he’s been throughout his career, Hamels has the no. 1 spot in the rotation on lockdown. For now.

Sell: Cole Hamels will be the Game 1 Starter in the NLDS. Maybe the Cubs don’t win the division? After all, they’re only 13-11 since the All-Star break. The Cubs are undoubtedly a more talented team than the Brewers, but sitting only three games back, they are absolutely within striking distance to win the National League Central. Then there’s Yu Darvish. With a return to the mound sounding not too far away, maybe Yu Darvish goes 2015 second-half Jake! On everyone, and rightfully claims his throne on the starting staff, providing the Cubs a potent 1/2 punch of Darvish and Hamels.

Buy: The Cubs will sign Bryce Harper this offseason. I don’t know why, but this weekend’s series gave me the impression that Harper will sign with the Cubs this winter. Going to dinner with Kris Bryant, chatting it up with Anthony Rizzo; I just get the feeling that Harper will join the good guys for the 2019 season.

Sell: The Cubs will sign Bryce Harper to a long-term contract. There’s a growing belief that Harper might take a one-year deal this offseason after what has been a relatively down year (by his standards). Even though Harper’s OPS+ this season is 130, his 2015-2017 stretch saw him post an OPS+ of 156, including his 2015 season in which he posted an OPS+ of 198 and a bWAR of 10.0 en route to a unanimous MVP award. If Harper wants to get himself an even bigger deal than what he could command this offseason, maybe he bets on himself for a year? There wouldn’t be a better team to join from Harper’s point of view, the Cubs are perennial World Series contenders, one of his best friends is on the team, and the lineup would afford him one of the best offensive environments in baseball to thrive in. If Harper signs a one-year deal, something that now looks plausible, the Cubs could be the favorite to land him.

Poll

Will the Cubs sign Bryce Harper this winter?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Yes
    (90 votes)
  • 71%
    No
    (226 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now