Just Like We Thought All Along: Chicago Cubs' "Optimal" Lineup (lol) Emerging

Just Like We Thought All Along: Chicago Cubs' "Optimal" Lineup (lol) Emerging
Two of these Cubs are part of an "ideal" lineup.

What's the opposite of an offensive juggernaut? This team has had gobs of trouble scoring runs, and will probably continue to do so.

However...

At the start of the year there was a lot of talk about platooning here, and mixing it up there, and having a roster full of guys that could play on any night.

Is that talk dead?

As of this morning there are 8 decent hitters on this Chicago Cubs team, as well as several very, very bad ones.

If we use wRC+ -- just trust me, it's a great stat for comparing a hitter's performance to league average -- we see that 2 Cub hitters have been well above-average so far, 3 have been close to average, and another 2 are at least within shouting distance.

  1. Rizzo, 137 (= 37 percent better than the average hitter)
  2. Castro, 117
  3. Bonifacio, 104
  4. Lake, 97
  5. Castillo, 95
  6. Olt, 92
  7. Valbuena, 89
  8. Kalish, 85

Fortunately you've got a nice mix of righties and lefties there, and Bonifacio a switchy at the top. It just might work for the next month or three -- although I don't know what I mean when I say "work," because again, they're not barnstormers. Against lefties you put Olt/Lake at 6/2 and Valbuena/Kalish at 7/8, and against righties you flip that, with Boni at 1, Castro at 3, Rizzo at 4, and Wely at 5. Boom, done.

And because you were wondering, here are the current wRC+ rates for the rest of the Cubs' hitters for this season.

  1. Ruggiano, 80
  2. Sweeney, 36
  3. Barney, 35
  4. Coghlan, 33
  5. Schierholtz, 30
  6. Baker, -39 (Don't even really know what that means)

As far as I'm concerned there are four openings on this team (I get it that Baker is working well with Hammel). I see no reason why Barney and Schierholtz shouldn't be replaced with Valaika and Watkins on June 1 if current hitting performances hold.

@AJWalsh08

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  • There's an easy way to improve the stat--just face Cardinals' pitching a heck of a lot more often. Being 4-3 and having last night's game skew the stats can't hurt.

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