Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks is the real ace of this pitching staff

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Class is back in session, kids

In the second half, Hendricks has looked better in all aspects of his game. He is hitting the corners again on both sides of the plate and is in complete control on the mound. This has led him to a 2.4 WAR in the second half, the sixth-best in the National League among pitchers.

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His 1.23 BB/9 rate since the All-Star Break is the lowest mark of his career. He has allowed just 11 total free passes in his 13 starts. To go along with that, there has not been a game in the second half where Hendricks has walked more than two batters.

Hendricks has also done a better job of limiting the long-ball. He has given up just five home runs in the second half, which averages out to just over 0.5 homers per nine.

The key for Hendricks has been his ability to limit the hard contact against him. In the first half he was surrendering hard contact 32.1 percent of the time compared to just 27.9 percent since.

Hendricks has also been more aggressive on the mound, striking out more batters. His K/9 rate has increased from 6.77 to 8.48 from the first half to second half. His 8.48 K/9 rate is the highest it’s ever been in his career, courtesy of 76 strikeouts so far in the second half.