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Every team struggles. They've built up enough credit to stay here through a short-term struggle (2-4 in last six, which includes a series win over the Pirates). There's still no reasonable case to be made for anyone else just yet. It could change by next week.
When faced with their toughest task to date, the Cubs went 7-0 against the Pirates and Nationals in one week. Their current pace is 131 wins. This is downright out of control.
They still haven't lost two in a row. I don't think they manage to stay here at number one all season, but I'd be interested to see anyone earnestly attempt to make a case for a different team (as of May 4).
They are 15-5 with the biggest run differential in baseball by a landslide. This has come with the following batting averages: Jason Heyward .244, Anthony Rizzo .205, Ben Zobrist .246, Addison Russell .234, Miguel Montero .208, Jorge Soler .185.
Believe it or not, I actually had a few people email me in the offseason asking why the Cubs didn't go out and get an elite closer. The answer is simple: They already have one. Hector Rondon had a 1.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 69 strikeouts against 13 unintentional walks last season in 70 innings. So far this year? Four innings, one hit -- a grounder with eyes, by the way -- zero runs, zero walks and eight strikeouts. I'm sorry his name isn't Kimbrel or Chapman, but he's elite.
Why no demotion over the Kyle Schwarber injury? Because the Cubs have the depth to absorb it and he wasn't even a true everyday player. He didn't even start the second game of the season. Playing time increases for Jorge Soler, Javier Baez (once he's healthy) and Tommy La Stella. Two of those three guys have immense upside.
Remember that spring outing on ESPN against the Giants (and Madison Bumgarner) where Jake Arrieta had zero command and it was due in part to a blister? And then some misguided rubes thought that was worrisome? Hahahahahahaha.
The overreaction will be strong here. What will the national reaction be if they start 2-6? How about 10-3? Hell, what about 0-1? Until we get well into May, this team is going to elicit the most ridiculous reactions to every single game.
Hey you. Yeah, you know who you are -- the person who says silly things like "the media has already handed the Cubs the NL Central/NL/World Series, so why even play the season?" Yes, you: Stop that. It makes you look petty and whiny. I think the Cubs are the best team in baseball right now, but that has zero implications on the postseason. First, they have to get there, which means avoiding major injuries, sophomore slumps from several players and big age-related declines from others. Letdowns are possible and even if they lead the majors in wins, they could stumble in the league divisional series. That's how it goes. So stop with the "you are already crowning them" stuff. It's a bad look.
Times the Cubs have won more than 97 games -- as they did this season -- since their last World Series appearance in 1945? Zero. This is insane.
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2016 Team Leaders
AVGBen Zobrist , 2B.326
HRAnthony Rizzo , 1B11
RBIAnthony Rizzo , 1B34
OBPBen Zobrist , 2B.438
SLGDexter Fowler , CF.533
RBen Zobrist , 2B30
SBDexter Fowler , CF6
WJake Arrieta , SP8
ERAJake Arrieta , SP1.29
WHIPJake Arrieta , SP0.84
KJake Arrieta , SP63
SVHector Rondon , RP7

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