First-place Cubs breaking even in the second half, not breaking away
10:50 PM ET
CHICAGO — It’s that time of year, when we break down the first-place Chicago Cubs to assess whether their glass is half-full or half-empty. Putting aside the rest of the competition in the National League — just for a moment — there are some alarming trends for the two-time Central Division champions.
At a time of year when veteran manager Joe Maddon usually has his teams firing on all cylinders, the Cubs are having trouble starting the car. After a miserable 9-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday, Maddon’s team dropped to 12-11 since the All-Star break. Not awful, but also not so wonderful for a team with World Series aspirations. Now here’s where it gets interesting.
As the Nats head to Wrigley, Chicago’s outfield is up and Harper’s average is down. Are Harper and the Cubs no longer a free-agency match?
The Nationals have one of the most injury-prone teams in baseball, but the pressure on their first-year manager to get them to October is real.
According to the Pythagorean formula, which factors in a team’s luck in runs scored and allowed, the Cubs should actually be 9-14