Another tough matchup this weekend for the Cubs in Cincinnati. The Reds should be able to hang with St. Louis (and maybe Pittsburgh, can’t forget the Pirates) the rest of the way in what has become a very top heavy NL Central division.
If you read the Cubs’ beat writers’ daily stories, you’ve noticed a pattern in Dale Sveum’s recent comments before and after the games. He is clearly at a loss for words in terms of all the good things the Cubs are doing that aren’t translating into wins. And while the most cynical Cubs’ fan responds with an eye-roll and a reference to the Cubs’ record, Dale’s point is that when you dig deeper into what’s going on, this team has absolutely played better than its record.
The Cubs’ Pythagorean Record according to Baseball-Reference.com is 22-24, meaning that based on run differential, that should be the team’s mark. And while that record doesn’t matter in the standings in any way, it is a bit instructive when you look at the roster and just how far away this team is from being truly competitive.
I refer you to Dave Cameron’s excellent piece on FanGraphs.com in which he tackles this very thing. Enjoy.