The best two teams in the National League in 2016 and 2017 were the Cubs and Dodgers. The best two teams this year probably would have been the Cubs and Dodgers if it wasn’t for some injuries to the Dodgers. The Dodgers have rebounded and are one of the hottest teams in the league so it might turn out that they are again the two best teams in the league. They may meet up for a third time in a row in the NLCS.
- OBP: Max Muncy (.385)
- ISO: Muncy (.336)
- HR: Muncy (13)
- R+RBI: Matt Kemp (75)
- wRC+: Muncy (165)
- BSR: Enrique Hernandez (2.0)
- DRS: Austin Barnes (+5)
- SP K%: Ross Stripling (30.7%)
- SP BB%: Stripling (2.5%)
- SP FIP: Walker Buehler (2.25)
- RP K%: Tony Cingrani (39.6%)
- RP BB%: Cingrani (6.6%)
- RP FIP: Cingrani (2.11)
- WAR: Kemp (2.2)
- OBP: Kris Bryant (.389)
- ISO: Javier Baez (.259)
- HR: Baez (14)
- R+RBI: Baez (83)
- wRC+: Bryant (136)
- BSR: Baez (3.2)
- DRS: Addison Russell (12)
- SP K%: Yu Darvish (27.2%)
- SP BB%: Kyle Hendricks (6.7%)
- SP FIP: Jon Lester (4.19)
- RP K%: Carl Edwards, Jr. (38.1%)
- RP BB/9: Pedro Strop (8.0%)
- RP FIP: Edwards, Jr. (2.37)
- WAR: Bryant (2.3)
Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.
The Dodgers have had a ton of injuries. The biggest is the loss of Corey Seager for the entire season. Any time you lose a player of that caliber for the entire year it’s going to hurt, but the Dodgers have so much talent that it was still surprising to see them start the season so slowly. Also out is Pedro Baez, Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Julio Urias and of course, Clayton Kershaw. It sounds like Kershaw may be a couple weeks away from a return and the Dodgers are still in a good position to take the NL West.
Carl Edwards, Jr. is still out for the Cubs. He’s out with a shoulder injury and has been out nearly a month. He’s thrown off flat ground, but not from a mound yet. It will take him some time once he does to get back to full strength. It’s possible he returns before the All Star Break, but probably not much before. The same is true of Yu Darvish who has been out since May 20th with a triceps injury.
Javier Baez was hit by a pitch last night on the elbow and left the game. He’s listed as day to day, but he said he was good to go. I get the feeling Javy would say that even if his elbow had been completely blown off by the pitch.
ERA, FIP, Projected K/9, BB/9, FIP listed for each pitcher. I’m nodding off as I write this so no pithy capsules today. No dinner tomorrow.
At least the Cubs aren’t facing Mikolas.
Maeda has walked a few more batters this season, but compared to the guy who is pitching for the Cubs tonight, he has had pinpoint control. Maeda has compensated for more walks by striking out more and allowing fewer home runs as he puts together his best season in the states.
Chatwood sucks and has only put up a semi-respectable ERA and FIP to this point because he’s kept the ball in the park. It’s something he probably won’t do as well moving forward. I can’t wait for Darvish to get back so Chatwood can finally take his rightful place in the bullpen. He’s a horrible starting pitcher, but might actually be a decent reliever. At least he’s probably better than Anthony Bass.
Rich Hill hasn’t started since the middle of May. He’s only made 6 starts this year and they haven’t been nearly as good as his standout season last year. He’s still striking out a lot of batters, but his walks have increased significantly and he’s allowing a lot of home runs (this is the Rich Hill I remember from his Cubs days). On his best days he’s almost impossible to hit, but he hasn’t had many of those this year.
Montgomery moved into the rotation on May 28th and has made four starts. In those starts he’s thrown a total of 23.2 innings, allowed 13 hits, 3 runs, 2 home runs, walked 3 and struck out 14. On the season he’s striking out quite a few less batters than he did in 2017 and way less than he did in 2016. He’s also walking many fewer batters and still keeping the ball in the ballpark. Monty is a great pitcher, but he’s been fairly reliable for the Cubs and is the team’s fifth best starter and it’s not even close.
Wednesday: Ross Stripling, RHP (1.75, 2.41, 10.58, 1.49, 3.65) vs Jon Lester, LHP (2.28, 4.19, 7.48, 3.04, 3.90), 1:20 PM CT
Stripling is having a ridiculously good season. His K-BB% is 25.6%. He’s striking out more, walking fewer batters and allowing fewer home runs. He’s also been a little lucky having stranded just over 90% of the runners who have reached base.
It would be nice if Lester would start striking out more batters, but the end result has been pretty good even if it’s not likely to keep itself up. He’s stranded over 85% of the runners, allowed only a .233 BABIP and is allowing many more balls in the air this year. Combined with fewer strikeouts, it’s kind of a miracle he’s allowing so few runs to score. He’ll almost certainly make another all-star team even if there are more deserving pitchers.