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Cubs Stock Market Report: Hello, August

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Javier Baez, MVP candidate?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Chip Stocks:

Javier Baez: El Mago continues to show no signs of slowing down, and this week was no exception. Javy went 10-for-24 with three doubles, a triple, three homers, seven runs batted in, and three walks (albeit two were intentional)! Baez sits atop the leaderboard for second basemen in all of baseball in terms of fWAR (4.1), and he leads the Cubs in that category by more than 1 fWAR. Dare I say he’s one of the leading MVP candidates in the National League this year?

Anthony Rizzo: Rizzo continued his ascension to the Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time title this week, going 7-for-23 with two home runs and five runs batted in. Rizzo owns a .370/.458/.691 line from the top spot in the order, good for a 198 wRC+.

Solid Investments:

Cole Hamels: We’re only one start into his tenure as a Cub, but man, that was an encouraging start. Hamels pitched five innings against the Pirates, striking out nine and allowing one unearned run in his first appearance for the North Siders. It would be foolish to put too much stock into one start, but it’s hard to deny the impact that a resurgent Cole Hamels would have on this pitching staff.

Kyle Schwarber: Schwarber finally got off the snide this week, going 6-for-15 with a double and a home run this week. Schwarber had three multi-hit games on the week, hopefully this signals the end of his Home Run Derby hangover.

Jason Heyward: If I had to tally a leaderboard for the Stock Market Report, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Heyward’s name on top of the ‘Solid Investments’ portion. As of late, it has seemed that he always puts together a solid week, albeit if unspectacular. This week, J-Hey went 8-for-22 with two doubles and two runs batted in. Heyward’s season line now sits at .283/.347/.417 (106 wRC+) to go along with his usually stellar defense.

Penny Stocks:

Jon Lester: It was a tough week for the Cubs ace, giving up nine runs over 10 innings pitched in two starts. Over his last eight starts, Lester owns a 6.42 ERA, and sure, you can argue that that number is largely inflated by his eight run outing against the Cardinals a few weeks ago, but even if you remove that start, Lester still owns an ERA over 5 during that span. It looks as if his peripherals are finally catching up to him.

Ian Happ: It was a rough week for Happ at the plate, recording just two hits in 17 at-bats. He did walk four times, so that somewhat salvaged a lackluster week. Since the All-Star break, Happ’s line sits at just .188/.333/.292.

Buy/Sell:

Buy: This team should have traded for a lefty at the deadline. It was a convenient time for the Cubs lefties to collectively put together a horrible week, right after the front office decided to not address the largest gaping hole on this roster. In six innings, Randy Rosario, Justin Wilson, and Brian Duensing combined for nine earned runs over six innings, good for a 13.5 ERA. Maybe Theo & Co. thought the current guys could get it done, or maybe they believe Mike Montgomery will be effective in the pen if Yu Darvish returns, but woof, that was a horrible week for the southpaws.

Sell: The lack of an effective lefty will be the demise of the Cubs. While I would argue that you always need to have at least one shutdown lefty coming out of the pen, it won’t be the reason the Cubs struggle down the stretch. Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brandon Morrow have all proven to be effective against lefties, let’s just hope that trend can continue.

Poll

Will Javier Baez win the NL MVP this year?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Yes
    (85 votes)
  • 61%
    No
    (138 votes)
223 votes total Vote Now