The Chicago Cubs Pulled Off the Biggest MLB Upset in Three Years and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Chicago Cubs Pulled Off the Biggest MLB Upset in Three Years and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I kinda hate that ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Rings of Power’ are airing at the same time. They are different enough that it’s not like there’s a conflict/comparison when watching them, but I am not SUPER into fantasy stuff, so I would rather have them spread out to more evenly distribute it throughout the year. And since they are both being heavily watched, it’s not like you can just wait a few months to watch and realistically avoid spoilers.

  • The nature of an individual game of baseball – its enormous Luck Dragons and all – is that you don’t actually have overwhelming odds favorites in any given game. There is no Alabama facing Upper East Mississippi Valley State Agro Tech (with all due respect to the Canaries of UEMVSAT). There are favorites, sure, but the lines – if you come at it from a sports betting perspective – are usually rather modest.
  • … and that’s how you wind up with a seemingly random game like last night, with the Chicago Cubs pulling off the BIGGEST UPSET in MLB in three years:
  • To be sure, betting lines get moved around for a variety of reasons that aren’t PERFECT distillations of “market predictions,” but they generally wind up pretty close to the expectation. And it rings true for last night, given that you had a weakened Cubs team, playing on the road against Jacob deGrom. That’s as big of an underdog situation as you can get in baseball. Just about nobody would’ve expected that thing to go like it did, which is why I have so much silly fun celebrating it.
  • Adrian Sampson’s great outing (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K) made for a better game score than deGrom’s (66 to 62), so we can say, at least by that metric, Sampson did indeed outduel deGrom last night – another thing no one would’ve seen coming.
  • The outing dropped Sampson’s season ERA to 3.48 (about 14% better than league average) and his FIP to 3.84, which is now better than league average by about 3%. He’s doing it by not walking anyone, generally, and by staying off the barrel – his 6.5% barrel rate is 37th best in baseball among all pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched. His average exit velocity is 22nd best. Guys simply have had a lot of trouble squaring him up. I have become more sensitive in recent years to the risks associated with contact-managers (i.e., if they’re a little off on a given day, or if they get some unlucky bounces, they can give up a lot of runs in a hurry), but Sampson just keeps doing it.
  • More on Sampson’s run of success:
  • Seiya Suzuki had just one hit last night and three strikeouts (one of which was as close as we’ve seen him to actually arguing a call, and it nearly got David Ross in some hot water with Laz Diaz). But his numbers down the stretch are still outstanding:
  • Javier Assad is getting a Topps call-up card:
  • Fergie Jenkins, athlete:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.