Chicago Cubs of 2016 mirrored by this year’s Houston Astros club
With a dominant line-up and solid pitching, the Astros are primed to do what the Chicago Cubs did last year; win a World Series title
For Chicago Cubs fans, when someone mentions lights-out pitching and offensive firepower, many think of the 2016 Cubs, and for good reason. The 2016 version of the Cubs dominated baseball on their way to the franchise’s first World Series title in 108 years.
As a team in 2016, the Cubs scored 808 runs, good enough for third in the league and slashed .256/.343/.429. Going beyond offense, last year’s Cubs team featured one of the best, if not the best, pitching staff in baseball. Last year, Chicago owned the majors’ best ERA with a 3.15 mark and held opponents to a .212 batting average, also tops in the league.
In order to post these astounding numbers mentioned above, the Cubs needed help from their core players. Kris Bryant led the Cubs with a .292 batting average, 39 home runs and 176 hits. In addition to that, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year posted a .385 OBP, .554 slugging percentage and 6.6 offensive WAR.
Bryant was not alone in his offensive outburst. Anthony Rizzo posted a nearly identical slash line of .292/.385/.544 and clubbed 32 home runs.
On the pitching side of things, the 2016 Cubs were led by Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. Lester made 32 starts and went 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA in 202 2/3 innings pitched. Hendricks was equally impressive, appearing in 31 games and posting a 16-8 record. In addition to that, Hendricks led the majors with a 2.13 ERA in 190 innings pitched.
The 2017 Houston Astros seem to be following the example set by last year’s Cubs team. Let’s take a closer look into their season.