I normally write about the Chicago Bears, but I am a life long Cubs fan and I felt compelled to write about this incredibly ridiculously good team we all have the pleasure of watching here in Chicago.
The baby Bears.
Are the Cubs strong enough on defense? No problem. They’re second in defensive runs above average (DEF) per Fangraphs just five tenths points behind the Texas Rangers with a 23.5 score.
They’re first in UZR, second in ErrE, First in RngR, and on and on it goes. You get the picture. They’re really good defensively in or near the top ten in every positive advanced defensive metric.
Hitting? Well most everyone knows how this team scores runs in bunches. Number one in offensive WAR which is the top advanced metric on Fangraphs. After all its about wins right? I’m not going to bore you by reciting stats, but the Cubs are at or near the top in nearly every imaginable category in both standard and advanced metrics.
Pitching? Fourth in pitching WAR at 7.7 Only behind the Mets, Dodgers and Nationals. Tops in ERA, and again up there with all other positive standard and advanced stats and metrics.
In other words there isn’t a damn thing this team isn’t good at. There really is no weakness. They can overcome any adversity you can think of befalling a major league baseball team. They don’t steal a lot of bases, but that’s because they really don’t have to.
Why run into outs?
They are however one of the best base-running teams in the league. Just one more thing they do well. They’re versatility is unmatched as well. So many players who can play at a variety of positions at or above replacement player level.
Despite all the gaudy stats and top notch level of play at all levels of the team perhaps the most impress thing is the depth and versatility this team has.
Today’s game against the Dodgers in a memorial day twi-night tilt is a perfect example of it. They lose their starter Jason Hammel early in the game (who had given up only one bloop hit which was lost in the sun and should’ve been an out to that point) to what looks like cramps and their bullpen proceeds to no hit the Dodgers the rest of the way using a combination of arms like it was part of the plan all along.
So to recap Cubs have hitting, pitching, defense, bullpen, great bench, positional versatility, great base-running and top notch managing, coaching and front office with a bunch of financial flexibility to add, as well as positional abundance in the minors to be able to add in a trade should they need it, or even call someone up to help at the major league level should it be required. All I have to say is good luck to the rest of major league baseball, because it is going to take a legendary series from any team to take this Cub team down in a 7 game series.