State of the Cubs 5/17/2017

Here are the Cubs’ two most recent team status lines.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
17.1 1.1 166 155 17 16 -9.2 2.0 CHN 5/10/2017
3.8 11.0 181 175 19 19 -10.1 1.2 CHN  5/17/2017

In the last week BAT has tanked despite all the runs they scored yesterday and PITCH is up.  The Cubs went 2-3 which is a WAA=-1 and now they’re a completely average team at 19-19.  Unearned Runs above average (UR) is still declining which is not good.  Here are Cubs in the top 200.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+032+ 1.78 Mike_Montgomery_CHN PITCH
+047+ 1.57 Wade_Davis_CHN PITCH
+086+ 1.16 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH
+164+ 0.76 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+179+ 0.69 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+200+ 0.61 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B

As we described here the Cubs have a top tier relief staff so it’s no surprise the top three players are relievers.  We saw in team status how BAT tanked leaving Kris Bryant barely in the top 200.  Let’s not dwell on the rest of the team since it’s early in the season.  A 0.500 team does not usually have a lot of high WAA superstars because their WAA=0 and all their players must add to that value.

Blast from the Past

In order to put the current Cubs in perspective let’s look back to 1935.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-41.0 36.2 137 135 18 17 8.5 -1.7 CHN 06/03/1935

They started later back then and used to catch up by having two games for the price of one, commonly known back then as a double header.   The above is a snapshot on June 3 when they had about the same number of games.

The Cubs had terrible BAT and very good PITCH and they balanced out to be around a 0.500 team at this time in 1935.  Here is how they ended the year.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
90.1 138.7 847 596 100 54 17.1 5.3 CHN 1935
79.3 159.8 808 556 103 58 9.0 3.9 CHN 2016

They end that year with WAA=100-54=+46 and go to the World Series.  Their BAT made a remarkable comeback and their PITCH kept chugging along.  Their final status line that year looks much like how the 2016 Cubs ended. A team wins 104 games with a WAA=+46 in a 162 game season.

Here are Cubs in top 50 back then which is the top 100 today because we have twice as many teams and players.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+011+ 6.99 Bill_Lee_CHN PITCH
+013+ 6.87 Larry_French_CHN PITCH
+016+ 6.68 Lon_Warneke_CHN PITCH
+028+ 5.14 Gabby_Hartnett_CHN CR
+030+ 5.02 Charlie_Root_CHN PITCH
+044+ 3.70 Augie_Galan_CHN LF-OF
+053+ 3.09 Chuck_Klein_CHN OF-RF