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What’s wrong with the Chicago Cubs?

What's wrong with the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have not started the season well as they sit tied for last in the NL Central. Their first four series of the season were against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers, two teams the Cubs should beat up on. However, instead, the Cubs went just 5-7 against those teams and have lost three of four series to start the season.

The good news for the Cubs is that they have started slow in recent years and still finished above .500. In 2019, the Cubs started the season 4-8 and then in 2018, they started 6-6. Both of those clubs finished with at least 84 wins.

The bad news for this Cubs team is that they own worst the worst run differential in the NL and the third-worst in all of the majors. Run differential calculates runs scored minus runs against. Entering their game today against the Atlanta Braves, they have a run differential of -20.

Just last season, the Cubs were hot out of the gate as they were 10-2 within their first 12 games. Through those 12 games, the team had 95 total hits, 19 home runs and 63 runs. Nonetheless, this year is quite a different story for these Cubs on offense.

So, what is the Cubs’ biggest downfall to start the season?

This year through their first 12 games, the Cubs only have 59 hits, 13 home runs and 32 runs. Additionally, they have 122 total strikeouts and are batting just .163 as a team. Additionally, the Cubs rank last in hits per game (4.92), batting average (.163) and runs per game (2.67). They also rank in the bottom half of the league in strikeouts per game (10.17).

Furthermore, it is shocking to see the Cubs struggle so much at the plate. They have not faced any top-of-the-line-pitching either to start the season. Although Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher Brandon Woodruff is considered a great pitcher, besides him, the Cubs have not faced anyone else.

If the Chicago Cubs want to compete for the NL Pennant this season, they have to start hitting. This was a huge downfall for the Cubs at the end of the 2020 season as well where they lost in two games to the Miami Marlins. In that two-game series with the Marlins, Chicago only had one run on nine hits.

This season, that has continued. The Cubs don’t have one batter hitting over .250 and third baseman Kris Bryant is their best hitter who is batting just .243. Other players like shortstop Javier Baez, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielders Ian Happ and Joc Pederson are all hitting .200 or below.

Also, the Cubs broke a record for the least amount of hits in a team’s first 10 games. Chicago only had 49 hits through their first 10 games which broke the previous low (51) in 1968.

Now, the Cubs must find a way to get out of this hitting slump. They have not scored more than five runs in any game and have scored less than two runs in five games. Hitting seems to be the Cubs’ biggest downfall to start the season. They need to get out of it or else the Cubs can find themselves at the bottom of the NL Central.

Image courtesy of Bostonglobe.com

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