Series Numbers


STATCAST Video: Chapman closes door in WS GM 2

Chapman, as he always does, brought the heat Wednesday night in the Cubs 5-1 victory in Game Two of the World Series.

Read More »

Game 2 Lineups and Notes

The Cubs have about a three-hour window to complete the game. There might be light rain during the contest.

Heyward continues to sit, as Soler gets a start in RF and bats 8th. Perhaps a surprise to some, Contreras will catch Arrieta and bat 7th. The Contreras/Arrieta battery hasn't been strong, but Joe made it known Contreras' arm is a dominant reason for the move. Schwarber, who looked like he has played all year, is batting fifth once again.

Trevor Bauer is about a league average pitcher in all categories. He actually has a diverse repertoire of pitches: fourseam, twoseam, cutter, change, and curve. Despite the large mix, he doesn't draw above league average whiffs (+20% swining strike rate). He's no Kluber, but still suitable. 

Jake Arrieta threw a slider 33% of the time in his last start -- the highest rate of 2016. I hope that continues. The Indians do a phenomenal job at seeing pitches and running the base paths, both of which has hurt Jake recently.

Also, keep in mind that one game doesn't have much predictive value for subsequent games, even if some events are actually good. Baseball is a weird game; one moment the Cubs get shut out two times in a row and four days later clinch the pennant. If the Cubs don't end up winning, it's probably not the wisest to take what you saw in Game 2 and suggest it will carry over to Game 3. Baseball will be baseball.

Have fun. Enjoy the World Series. 
Read More »

Wednesday Notes

  • While Schwarber nearly hit a homer last night, only 12% of similarly hit balls have been homers.

  • Jake Arrieta's 33% slider rate against the Dodgers during his last start was the highest usage rate in 2016.

  • If the Cubs win tonight, they have a chance to win the World Series at Wrigley Field. I'll take it.
Read More »

Tuesday Notes

  • Kyle Schwarber is back.

  • Schwarber produced 32% more runs than the average MLB hitter in 2015. 

  • ZiPS projected a .357 wOBA for Schwarber this year.
Read More »

Cubs Related Podcast: World Series Preview w/ Isaac Bennett of BP Wrigleyville

Isaac Bennett of BP Wrigleyville joins Corey and Brendan to preview the WORLD SERIES (!).

Follow Isaac on Twitter
Read More »

Monday Notes

  • The Cubs have a 65% chance of winning the World Series, according to FanGraphs.

  • Kris Bryant's .406 wOBA leads the Cubs this postseason.

  • Mike Montgomery's FIP is 2.63 this postseason. 

Read More »

Cubs National League Champions Desktop Wallpaper

Read More »

The Cubs Obliterated Not Just One Narrative, But Two

You will always remember where you were the moment the Cubs clinched the pennant. I have goosebumps typing this. When Javy threw a rocket to Rizzo to secure a trip to the World Series, I was hugging family, tripping over any and every object in my way, and soon thereafter called my 85-year-old grandfather, who used to be a peanut vendor at Wrigley during the '40s. For me, the way this team won the pennant is special for reasons beyond just the fact they won their first pennant since my grandfather sold peanuts.

I've had the luxury of living in Arizona for the past several years, which meant I could go to Arizona Fall League (AFL) games, instructional league games, and instrasquad Spring Training games. I witnessed Rizzo's very first game as a Cub in Spring Training. I saw Soler the moment he came over to the States. I witnessed him play with Almora and Bryant in the AFL. Russell was playing for Oakland at the time, competing against his future teammates. When all of these young Cubs were swept last year against the Mets, I went to the AFL game the next night to watch Contreras play. My wildest dreams never had Contreras hitting a homer off of Kershaw in a pennant-clinching game the following year. Watching this group evolve from hype to fullfillment will forever be special. 

How these young fulfilled their hype is unprecedented. They ripped up traditional aging curves, much to even my surprise. Whereas most MLB players improve their contact rates by 1-2 pecentage points in their yearly 20s, Bryant and Baez improved theirs by 7 and 13 points, respectively. Bryant even blew by his .365 wOBA ZiPS projection to become the inevitable NL MVP with a .396 wOBA and 8.4 WAR. Likewise, Russell produced 2.5 more WAR than what ZiPS projected. The list goes on: Hendricks improving his whiff rate by 7 percentage points, Rizzo drastically changing his swing plane from 2012 to become the best first baseman in the NL, and the player development system graduating prospect after prospect. Baseball has never seen player progession like this. 

The Cubs losing narrative has been consistent for most of my 85-year-old grandfather's life. Baseball player development has also had its own narrative: players don't drastically change. On October 22, both narratives died. You'll never forget it.
Read More »

Subscribe by email