Cubs Status 8/8/2018

On the 30th anniversary of the infamous 8/8/88 date, the first night game to be played ever at Wrigley Field, that ended up being rained out, let’s look at the Cubs this season and the Cubs 30 years ago on this date.  Here is Cubs current team status line and the last time we did this.

CHN Team Status

55.6 37.9 527 428 61 44 4.6 0.9 CHN 7/30/2018
58.6 39.7 565 460 66 47 5.0 1.7 CHN 8/8/2018

BAT flat, PITCH flat, UR up a little, and the Cubs went 5-3 gaining 2 games with a real WAA=+19.  The PE estimate based upon run differential is now around +21 so the Cubs are converging on expectation.  This usually averages out in the long run.  Here are the current top Cubs based on this data model.  Note: The below sort only uses CHN contributions.  Chavez and Kintzler will be listed below in the relief section.

Top Cubs

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+007+ 6.61 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS-3B
+064+ 2.71 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH
+092+ 2.18 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF
+101+ 2.10 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+103+ 2.10 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
+112+ 2.04 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+129+ 1.89 Brandon_Morrow_CHN PITCH
+178+ 1.49 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
+182+ 1.47 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.22 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B
XXXXX 1.18 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.03 Mike_Montgomery_CHN PITCH

Baez still in top ten and sill at +007+.  He leads the race for NL MVP according to this data model but there are 7 more weeks left in this season.  Let’s look at how Cubs stack up with the rest of MLB with regards to lineup, starters, and relief.

CHN Tier Data

Type Tier Name_Teamid WAA
Lineups 1 CHN 14.87
SP 3 Cole_Hamels_CHN -0.80
SP 3 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 0.13
SP 2 Jon_Lester_CHN 2.04
SP 3 Jose_Quintana_CHN -0.02
SP 3 Mike_Montgomery_CHN 1.03
RP 2 CHN 6.89

Cole Hamels is now Tier 3 average and almost above water with his WAA.  Lester dropped to Tier 2 and everyone else in the rotation is average.  Relief at Tier 2 and lineup top of the league (based upon their last lineup).

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+064+ 2.71 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH
+164+ 1.62 Jesse_Chavez_TOT PITCH
+182+ 1.47 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.18 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.90 Brandon_Kintzler_TOT PITCH
XXXXX 0.82 Justin_Wilson_CHN PITCH
-100- -1.81 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN PITCH
Total 6.89

Duensing on DL and Rosario must have been optioned off.  Our source for these rosters might not be totally up to date and the Cubs move players around a lot.

Blast from the Past 8/8/88

It was a shocking development to see lights in Wrigley Field that day.  The Cubs didn’t go to the playoffs again until 1989 however.  Let’s see how they were doing on this day 8/8/88.

CHN Team Status

-37.0 24.0 431 440 53 56 4.5 -0.4 CHN 8/8/1988

Bad BAT, good PITCHing and at 53-56 the Cubs were almost even steven for the season.

Top Cubs on 8/8/88

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+037+ 3.61 Greg_Maddux_CHN PITCH
+110+ 1.72 Andre_Dawson_CHN RF
+130+ 1.53 Al_Nipper_CHN PITCH
+132+ 1.53 Jamie_Moyer_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.07 Pat_Perry_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.50 Rich_Gossage_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.46 Vance_Law_CHN 3B
XXXXX 0.34 Les_Lancaster_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.29 Shawon_Dunston_CHN SS

Only 4 guys in top 200.  Maddux pitching well ranked #37.  He finishes the year ranked #74.  This is his first above average season in his HOF career.  Maddux doesn’t explode as a superstar until 1992, his final season with the Cubs.

Update 8/9/2018:  Just realized there are a few notable players missing from the above list.  Since Cubs on 8/8/88 were slightly below average, not everyone can be valued as a superstar.  Even HOF players, like Ryne Sandberg, have off years and this was one of them.  On this day his full line looked like this.

Rank WAA BA OBP PA RBI R Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX -0.36 0.254 0.316 456 44 52 Ryne_Sandberg_CHN 2B 8/8/88
XXXXX 0.48 0.264 0.322 679 69 77 Ryne_Sandberg_CHN 2B Full 1988

He’s only slightly below average on 8/8/88 and has a good August and September to finish the year above average.  Sandberg goes on a run for the next four years which propels him into the HOF.  Here’s another notable player left out.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX 0.02 144.7 3.79 21 0 Rick_Sutcliffe_CHN PITCH 8/8/88
XXXXX -0.88 226.0 3.86 32 0 Rick_Sutcliffe_CHN PITCH Full 1988

Sutcliffe on the other hand was almost completely average on 8/8/88 and didn’t pitch well during August and September.  Here is how the Cubs ended that season.

-10.1 -30.0 660 694 77 85 -1.5 1.7 CHN 1988

Other than being the first year for lights at Wrigley 1988 was a highly forgettable season overall — much like many years to follow and many years preceding.  That is all for this update.  Usually good historical Cubs teams are highlighted here where we don’t run into this problem of leaving out star players.  End of Update 8/9/2018

Average teams are average because of their players and the above reflects that.  And to reminisce a little more, here are the top ten players at the end of the 1988 season.

Top MLB players 1988

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 10.56 Jose_Canseco_OAK RF-DH
+002+ 8.99 Kirby_Puckett_MIN CF
+003+ 8.97 Orel_Hershiser_LAN PITCH
+004+ 8.32 David_Cone_NYN PITCH
+005+ 8.21 Dave_Henderson_OAK CF
+006+ 7.92 Dwight_Evans_BOS RF-1B
+007+ 7.73 Dave_Winfield_NYA RF
+008+ 7.01 Will_Clark_SFN 1B
+009+ 6.99 Darryl_Strawberry_NYN RF
+010+ 6.83 Mark_Gubicza_KCA PITCH

Dodgers with Orel Hershiser win the World Series that year.  That is all for now.  Until then ….