3 reasons to believe in the Cubs following their hot start
By Jake Misener
The Chicago Cubs are off to a 9-6 start, with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. David Ross' club took two of three from the perennial powerhouse Dodgers in Los Angeles and continued their impressive road trip on Monday, putting a hurting on the lowly Oakland Athletics by a 10-1 final.
We're not even 10 percent of the way through the 162-game grind, but optimism has already returned amongst Cubs fans. It's an imperfect roster, to be sure, but there's enough to like that folks are already murmuring about being a potential wild card team come October.
Here are 3 (and we could come up with more, but that might be because it's hard to not be overexcited after your team cranks out 20 hits in a win) - reasons to believe in the Cubs and their hot start.
3 reasons to believe in the Cubs: #3 - The offense is dripping with potential and starting to show flashes of it
Cody Bellinger, for the first time in his big league career, went 5-for-5 in the win over the A's Monday. Patrick Wisdom added a pair of home runs, tying him with Pete Alonso for the MLB lead (in three fewer games) - and making it four straight contests with a long ball.
The recently-extended Ian Happ boasts a .962 OPS on the year and no longer has the shadow of free agency looming at season's end after agreeing to a three-year extension with the Cubs. Nico Hoerner looks like the club's long-sought leadoff answer, Dansby Swanson has been every bit as good as advertised (and then some) and the return of Seiya Suzuki drastically lengthens this lineup.
All of this has culminated in a .793 team OPS (fourth in the NL), a .289 team batting average (second in the NL), 22 stolen bases (1st in the NL), 83 runs (fourth in the NL) and .347 on-base percentage (third in the NL). Chicago can beat you in multiple ways - with the long ball, running the bases effectively or just stringing together hit after hit. It's built very differently than what we'd seen in years past, but is showing all the signs of being a potent mix here in 2023.