The games came so fast and furious in the first half that we didn’t get a lot of chances to check in on how things were trending for the Cubs. But with an off day, we get a good chance to take a snap shot. The Cubs have started the second half by winning five of six games. Their half game lead in the division has grown to two and a half. Things appear to be looking up. We’ll see if the statistics show the improvement that we seem to be seeing.
But first, we look at the core of this series. That is the Heroes and Goats. Today we’ll take a look at the year to date standings and also the change over the last six games to see who has been leading this push.
Year to Date Total (change since last full standings)
(# = returned to minors, * = injured list, @ = restricted list, ! = out of the organization)
- Kris Bryant 22.5 (+5)
- Anthony Rizzo 22 (+6)
- *Willson Contreras 11 (+3)
- *Cole Hamels 8 (0)
- Kyle Schwarber 6 (+1)
- Kyle Hendricks 5 (+2)
- Daniel Descalso 4 (0)
- Brandon Kintzler 3.5 (0)
- Tyler Chatwood (PH) 3 (0)
- @Ben Zobrist 2.5 (0)
- Javier Baez 2 (-6)
- #Rowan Wick 2 (0)
- Jon Lester 1.5 (+1)
- *Xavier Cedeno 1 (0)
- Robel Garcia .5 (0)
- #Dillon Maples .5 (0)
- Randy Rosario .5 (0)
- @Tony Barnette 0 (0)
- Tyler Chatwood -.5 (0)
- #Taylor Davis -.5 (0)
- #Mark Zagunis -1 (0)
- *Allen Webster -2 (0)
- Kyle Ryan -2 (0)
- Addison Russell -2 (+1)
- Victor Caratini -2.5 (-5)
- Martin Maldonado -3 (-3)
- Craig Kimbrel -3 (0)
- #Adbert Alzolay -3 (0)
- !Carlos Gonzalez -3 (0)
- Steve Cishek -4 (-3)
- Jose Quintana -4 (-2)
- David Bote -4.5 (0)
- !Mike Montgomery -7 (0)
- Brad Brach -7.5 (-1)
- Pedro Strop -8 (-3)
- Yu Darvish -8 (+6)
- *Carl Edwards Jr. -9 (0)
- Jason Heyward -10 (+3)
- Albert Almora Jr. -11.5 (-6)
Every now and then I’m able to find a perfect picture to go with the subject matter. At the top, a photo of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, left to right with very little separation. Those are the standings with 66 games to go in the season. The two have been going back and forth for the top spot. Willson Contreras had a nice start to the second half before getting injured, but he still sits in third place. At the bottom of the standings, Albert Almora Jr. now resides in last place, behind Jason Heyward who is slowly moving forward. The rehabbing from injury Carl Edwards Jr. sits just ahead of that and should hopefully have a chance to improve his standing soon.
Over the six games since the break, Yu Darvish and Anthony Rizzo have lead the way at +6 each and Kris Bryant is just behind at +5. On the negative side of the ledger, Javier Baez and Albert Almora Jr. have been the most negative at -6. Victor Caratini is just behind at -5.
38 different Cubs have appeared in Heroes and Goats this season. Tim Collins, Jim Adduci, James Norwood and Alec Mills are four Cubs who have appeared in games for the Cubs but not appeared yet in any H&G position.
- Average: .256 was .254 (6th NL, 11th MLB)
- On Base: .337 was .336 (2nd NL, 6th MLB)
- Slugging: .456 was .452 (3rd NL, 8th MLB)
- OPS: .794 was .788 (2nd NL, 6th MLB)
- Runs/game: 5.09 was 5.06 (5th NL, 12th MLB)
Across the board, the offensive numbers are up. In most cases, the raw numbers are the highest they’ve been in over a month. That the team is materially raising it’s numbers more than half way into the season is a good sign. The offense hasn’t been super explosive in the first six games of the second half, but have already put a 10 and an eight on the board against a good Pirates staff and have averaged just under six runs per game as a result.
- Hits/9: 8.4 was 8.4 (5th NL, 9th MLB)
- Walks/9: 3.3 was 3.5 (7th NL, 15th MLB)
- HR/9: 1.2 was 1.2 (T1st NL, T3rd MLB)
- K/9: 8.6 was 8.7 (11th NL, 18th MLB)
- Runs allowed/game: 4.39 was 4.44 (4th NL, 9th MLB)
- Quality Start %: 48 was 44 (3rd NL, 5th MLB)
- Average Game Score: 53 was 52 (4th NL, 8th MLB)
- Save %: 59 was 61 (11th NL, T20th MLB)
- Inherited Runner Score %: 31 was 31 (T6th NL, T13th MLB)
Once again, nearly all of the numbers have improved. One down spot was save percentage as the one loss did result from a blown save (in the seventh inning). The strike outs per nine innings also dropped (and has been slowly declining throughout the season). But the number that jumps off the page to me is the walk rate. Through 20 games, that was 4.2/9, through 32 it was 4.1, through 45 it was 3.9, through 78 and 90 games it was 3.5. Walks have been a bugaboo of this staff for most of the last two years. But the resurgent Yu Darvish has made a huge difference in that area.
- Errors: 68 was 65 (15th NL, 26th MLB)
- Defensive Efficiency [percentage of balls in play turned into outs]: .690 was .689 (6th NL, 13th MLB)
If I recall correctly, all three of the errors were in the same game (the one loss in the six games), so there is that. The defensive efficiency number ticks up and is only a few percentage points off of the highest numbers of the year (.693 and .692).
Who is the Cubs Year to Date MVP?
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