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Chicago Cubs: Pirates versus Cubs series preview

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 17: Addison Russell
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 17: Addison Russell /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 28: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out in the fifth inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 8-4. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 28: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out in the fifth inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 8-4. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Where did the offense go?

For Cubs’ fans, that question has been asked many times. Last year, the Cubs scored 808 runs, good enough for third best in the league. This year, however, the Cubs are ranked in the middle of the pack, while ranking in the bottom five in team batting average.

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Part of the Cubs’ offensive struggles this season has been due to underperforming stars. Kris Bryant, for example, is currently slashing .261/.391/.502 and has an offensive WAR of 2.7. That is a far cry from the .292/.385/.554 slash line he put up in 2016 when he had an offensive WAR of 6.6.

Bryant is not the only Cub having a rough season. Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist are both hitting under .250 while Kyle Schwarber is batting .168.

Perhaps one of the only bright spots on offense has been the play of Jon Jay. Jay, in 167 at-bats, is slashing .305/.384/.407. That great performance has been like a shot in the arm for the Cubs’ offense, but it looks like more will be needed to push it over the top.

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