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Cubs Stock Market Report: The final weeks

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Here’s how Cubs players stand heading into the homestretch.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Must Buy Stocks:

Anthony Rizzo: What a week it was for Rizzo. Rizzo recorded 14 hits in 31 at-bats, including three homers, eight runs, and five walks. Rizzo also hit what looked to be a game winning home run off of Josh Hader in Monday’s game, the first lefty to homer off of Hader in his career. Since August 1, Rizzo is batting .360/.448/.658, good for a wRC+ of 191.

Javier Baez: El Mago’s march towards the NL MVP continued this week, as he went 11-32 with two homers and seven runs scored. He scored from first on an Anthony Rizzo single in Monday’s game, he’s truly electric whenever he’s involved in a play.

Wrigley North: I was at Monday’s game, just a couple rows behind the Cubs dugout, and the amount of Cubs fans easily outnumbered Brewers fans 2:1. After Rizzo’s aforementioned home run, you would have thought it was a Brewers player who had just hit it. Keep up the good work, Cubs fans.

Solid Investments:

Kris Bryant: Bryant only recorded three hits in 11 at-bats, but his newly tweaked swing doesn’t look like it’ll change the player he has been for the past three seasons. He hasn’t looked overmatched at the plate, and with a healthy Bryant now back in the lineup, there isn’t another lineup in the National League that compares to that of the Cubs.

Ian Happ: Happ just went 4-for-17 this past week, but three of those hits were for extra bases, and he walked three times. Happ owns a 111 wRC+ in the last 10 games in which he’s recorded an at-bat, if he can turn it around after a dreadful start to the second half of the season, he could be a key player down the stretch.

Cole Hamels: Hamels didn’t record a win in either of his starts this week, but he only surrendered two runs over 11 innings of work. If Daniel Murphy catches the throw from Rizzo in yesterday’s pick off attempt, maybe he doesn’t allow a run on the week. In just seven starts in a Cubs uniform, Hamels has already recorded a 1.6 fWAR, better than any pitcher on the team not named Kyle Hendricks.

Penny Stocks

Gabe Morales: What a horrible game behind the plate yesterday from Morales. Both teams were visibly frustrated with a number of his calls, as they were neither accurate nor consistent. He also had the nerve to have the quick hook on Joe Maddon. Bring on the robo umps.

David Bote: In all the weeks I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen a player do what David Bote did this past week: record a wRC+ of -61. Woof. Bote went 2-for-25 with 12 strikeouts. The fan favorite has gone ice cold as of late; he’s only hit .138/.177/.310 (24 wRC+) since August 15th.

Buy/Sell:

Buy: The Brewers are a very good team. Christian Yelich is a star, and the rest of the lineup isn’t too shabby either. Even though Hader gave up a two-run shot yesterday, he has been one of the best bullpen arms in baseball this year. They rank as the fourth best defensive team in baseball according to Fangraphs. The Brewers are a very well-rounded club, and what’s even more impressive is that they are sustaining success in one of baseball’s smallest markets.

Sell: The Brewers will win the NL Central. I’m not sure Al would continue to let me write for this site if I said the Brew Crew would win the division over the Cubs this year. Jokes aside, the Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball this year, they lead all of baseball in offensive fWAR, while also ranking as the best defensive team in baseball. Even if the Cubs only win one game in this series against the Brewers, they’ll leave Milwaukee with a four-game lead in the division with only three weeks left to play.

Poll

Will both NL Wild Card teams come from the NL Central?

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  • 59%
    Yes
    (98 votes)
  • 40%
    No
    (66 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now