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Cubs Offense in 2013


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#1 OCCubFan

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:07 AM

Yesterday, I tried to introduce this topic by asking a trivia question: Who led the NL in extra-base hits in 2013? That failed when the thread degenerated into silliness. Let me try again.

 

The Cubs led the NL in 2013 with 487 extra-base hits!
 
The Cubs were 2nd in Home Runs with 172 to Atlanta's 181, and 3rd in doubles with 297 to St. Louis's 322 and Arizona's 302. They were only 14th in triples; Milwaukee led with 43.
 
In spite of leading the NL in extra-base hits, the Cubs were just 8th in slugging with .392. The reason was that they were 13th in batting average with just .238.  The Cubs were dead last in hitting singles in 2013. They hit just 820 singles, compared to 1,033 for Colorado, 1,027 for St. Louis and 1,005 for Arizona.  Even Miami had 912 singles.
 
The Cubs ranked a below-average 11th in walks. Combined with a low batting average, this gave them an on-base percentage of just .300 that ranked 14th. Of all the averages, OBP is the single most important one.
 
The Cubs had an OPS of .693 that ranked 11th. This gave them an OPS+ of 88, above only the pathetic Marlins.
 
On a positive note, with 43 sacrifice hits, the Cubs ranked 15th with the fewest in the NL. (The table did not indicate the number of failed sacrifice attempts.) The Cubs also led the NL with 56 players used and ranked 10th in left-on-base. The latter ranking is meaningless in the absence of other data; e.g., St. Louis ranked below the Cubs in LOB even though they had nearly 200 more baserunners due to a high OBP.
 
Finally, in the most important offensive statistic other than W-L record, the Cubs ranked 14th in runs per game.
 
In summary, the Cubs were a bad offensive team due to a lack of singles and walks. The large number of doubles and home runs, however, was a bright spot.
 
 
Here's some non-trivial trivia on situational hitting. With no one on base, the Cubs ranked 9th with a .249 batting average. I bet you did not know that the Cubs were better than the Cardinals, who were 10th with a .248 batting average.
 
However, with men in scoring position, the Cubs were 15th and last in the NL with a .218 batting average. In contrast, the Cardinals were 1st with a .330 batting average. Ooff! Sabremetric studies have shown that such "clutch" hitting is due to luck and does not predict the next year's results. I sure hope that is true.
 
 


#2 Spriggs

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:52 AM

Interesting stuff, OC. Thanks for posting this. 

 

Ya know, over the years I have found that trying to logically analyze any cardinal statistic is just not going to be a fruitful task.  Something beyond logic and worldly rules is in play. That is all their stats really show... something different



#3 Cubbie Blues

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:03 AM

Silly is a default state around here.

 

Those numbers are the same ones that made me think with some luck we could have been a .500 team last year.


"It's not the dress that makes you look fat, it's the fat that makes you look fat." - Al Bundy

 

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#4 OCCubFan

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:51 AM

Interesting stuff, OC. Thanks for posting this. 

 

Ya know, over the years I have found that trying to logically analyze any cardinal statistic is just not going to be a fruitful task.  Something beyond logic and worldly rules is in play. That is all their stats really show... something different

Voodoo explains the Cardinals' performance quite well. More seriously, 

 

Sabremetricians say that they are unable to find evidence of "clutch." I believe that result. However, I remember one of the Cubs-Cardinals series last season when the Cardinals killed the Cubs with their performance with RISP. It seemed to me that the Cardinal hitters had a much better approach than the Cubs and would frequently go to the opposite field in those situations. Indeed, when I looked at the 2013 statistics for RISP, I found that the Cubs had more HRs with RISP than any other NL team, despite having fewer RISP opportunities than just about everyone. The Cubs also had the highest isolated power with RISP. The Cardinals, however, had a lot more singles and doubles. Could it be that Cub hitters tend to swing for the fences with RISP while Cardinal hitters tend to go for singles and doubles to get the run home? That is what my eyes tell me. So, should I believe the statistics or my lying eyes?






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