After hitting a league-worst .218 with runners in scoring position last year, the Chicago Cubs have started the season 0 for 14 with runners on second and/or third base.
Generally held that hitting with runners in scoring position should generally mirror a team’s actual hitting true talent level, you wouldn’t expect a team to be disproportionately “bad” at hitting in that situation. In other words, you can chalk some of it up to bad luck.
And, if you did chalk this 0-14 start up to bad luck …
If the Cubs had a true talent level batting average with runners in scoring position of .200 (in other words, if you expected them to hit .200 with runners in scoring position over the course of the typical season with this roster), then the chances they’d go without a hit in their first 14 such situations is just 4.4%. That is to say, even if the Cubs really are HISTORICALLY awful at hitting with runners in scoring position, you still would overwhelmingly expect them to have a hit by now.
At the Cubs’ crappy .218 figure from last year? The chances of being hitless so far are just 3.2%.
If we bump the true talent batting average up to a more typical .250, the chances the Cubs would go 0-14 are just 1.8%.
Hooray Cubs luck!
UPDATE: With two more outs with runners in scoring position, that .250 figure is down to 1.0%. One time in 100. This Cubs team did it.