I was never a big fan of interleague play. I couldn’t care less about the White Sox or Royals or Twins, but I’ll admit that I do like it when the Cubs play a team like the Mariners, A’s, Yankees, Red Sox or the teams they don’t face all that often. I’m not in favor of getting rid of it, but I like it when the Cubs play teams from their own division.
Cubs (200 PA)
- OBP: Anthony Rizzo (.395)
- ISO: Anthony Rizzo (.287)
- HR: Kris Bryant (26)
- R+RBI: Bryant (134)
- wRC+: Rizzo (155)
- BSR: Bryant (4.0)
- SP K/9: Jake Arrieta (9.54)
- SP BB/9: Kyle Hendricks (2.43)
- SP FIP: Arrieta (2.99)
- RP K/9: Aroldis Chapman (12.83)
- RP BB/9: Hector Rondon (1.16)
- RP FIP: Rondon (1.86)
- WAR: Bryant (5.3)
Bryant hasn’t really struggled since the break, but he’s not hitting for the power that he was, which I guess is the same thing as struggling. He’s still getting hits so he’s been valuable. Hopefully we see his power return to what it was the first couple of months.
- OBP: Nelson Cruz (.370)
- ISO: Cruz (.255)
- HR: Cruz (25)
- R+RBI: Robinson Cano (130)
- wRC+: Cruz (146)
- BSR: Leonys Martin (0.0)
- SP K/9: Nate Karns (9.33)
- SP BB/9: Taijuan Walker (1.88)
- SP FIP: Karns (3.83)
- RP K/9: Edwin Diaz (17.47)
- RP BB/9: Vidal Nuno (1.30)
- RP FIP: Edwin Diaz (2.04)
- WAR: Cano (3.9)
I kind of expected Cano to be leading most of the offensive categories. He’s still the team leader in fWAR, but Nelson Cruz is having a good season.
K/9, BB/9, ERA, FIP, projected ERA listed for each pitcher.
Iwakuma has really good control, though it’s not as good as his career numbers this season. His strikeout rate was mediocre prior to this season, but it’s taken a big step back and he gives up a ton of home runs. He’s just average in about every start. he’s had a couple bad ones this year in which he gave up 5 runs, but other than that he’s been fairly solid. He keeps the Mariners in the game and gives you 6-7 innings.
I think I’ve said this each of the last two or three previews about Lester, but he’s striking out a bit fewer batters than he did the last couple years, but still better than his career rate. He’s also walking more batters and giving up many more home runs. He’s already given up more home runs this season (17) than he did each of the last two seasons (16 in each one). He’s allowed more per 9 innings this year than in any season since his 63 innings in 2007. Lester has been terrible lately. He’s given up 24 runs in his last 7 starts covering 36.2 innings.
Like Iwakuma, Miley has good control, doesn’t strike many out and gives up lots of home runs. We could see a ton of home runs at Wrigley this weekend. He’s given up more fly balls this year, but he still has a good GB/FB rate. A very high number of his fly balls have left the park. He throws a fastball at about 90 mph and his slider is at 84. He also throws a curve and a change up.
The superhuman Jake Arrieta has returned to being human. I think we’re all finally starting to adjust to the reality that Jake was not nearly as good as he had pitched. I think most of us here knew that, but I know for myself that I started thinking he was not as good as he’d pitched, but perhaps quite a bit better than his projections indicated he would pitch. He is not. He’s a good pitcher who had a great run. He was good in his last outing. Jake will probably have another season with the Cubs before he becomes a free agent and I’m OK with the Cubs just letting him walk. He’ll be 31 next year so any future contract would begin during his age 32 season. I’d rather the Cubs just let him go. If there’s a trade to be made at some point this offseason or next year that could get the Cubs a young pitcher to take his place, I’d also be in favor of that. He’d have to be pretty good though.
Felix just isn’t the same Felix. His strikeout rate is way down and his walks are up. He wasn’t an elite pitcher last year either, but he was better than he’s pitched this year. He came off the DL a couple starts ago and has been terrible. The White Sox put up 10 hits and 5 runs in 6.2 innings and he walked only 2 while striking out 2. In his last start against the Pirates, he went 6 innings, gave up 9 hits and 4 runs. He’s surrendered 3 home runs in those starts, walked 3 and struckout only 5. I remember the Felix who threw in the mid to high 90s. He’s gone. His average fastball is about 90 mph these days. It’s also down quite a bit from last year.
Hendricks keeps doing the things that has gotten him to succeed at this level. He keeps the ball on the ground and the ball in the ball park. It’s not difficult to figure out how you have success. It’s really difficult doing it.