With a break in the action, let’s take a look at the season so far.
Today, I’ll focus on the first 57.4% of the Cubs’ 2018 season. Which is to say, the 93 games before the All-Star Break. Clearly more than “half.”
In all seasons with an All-Star Game (1933-present, minus 1945)
This is the fifth time the Cubs have had the National League’s best record at the All-Star Break.
Here is the entire list (note – 2016 is NOT on this list. They trailed the Giants by 3 games at the Break in 2016):
Which is incredible since:
• Anthony Rizzo has a wRC+ of 100, which is league average
(he was at 131 – 31% better than league average - through the All-Star break last season)
• Kris Bryant has missed 23 games and has only 10 home runs
• The Cubs as a team have 30 fewer Home Runs through 93 games than they did last season
(100 this season, 130 last season)
• The Cubs have had six pitchers make 8 or more starts this season and only one (Jon Lester – 2.58) has an ERA under 3.90
• Cubs pitching has an MLBhigh walk percentage of 11.0%
(Tyler Chatwood’s 9 starts with 5 or more walks is most in a season by a Cubs pitcher since Dick Drott’s 13 in 1957)
• Cubs have outscored their opponents by only one run in the first inning (5251)
This includes being outscored 18-13 in the first inning in Kyle Hendricks’ 19 starts
• Cubs are 57 against the Reds
(they were 27-11 against Cincinnati in 2016-17)
That being said, it's not so incredible since...
• The Cubs have scored at least 10 runs 15 times this season. No other team has done it more than 12 times.
• Jason Heyward has a wRC+ of 109 (he’s 9% better than league average)
This is notable because in 2016 he was at 71 (29% worse than league average) and 88 in 2017 (12% worse than league average).
• The Cubs have EIGHT qualified players with at least a .340 OnBase pct. (and Ian Happ, who is eight PA short of qualifying, is at .379)
The only qualified Cub with a SUB-.340 OBP is Javier Báez (.326 – a career-high). However…
• Javier Báez has 50 extrabase hits in 91 games. Last season he had 49 extra-base hits in 145 games.
Báez is the first player in Cubs history with 15 Doubles, 5 Triples, 15 HR and 15 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.
Báez is the first player in MLB history with 18 Doubles, 6 Triples, 18 HR and 18 Stolen Bases before the All-Star Break**.
**seasons with an All-Star Game – 1933-present (minus 1945)