Chicago Cubs move into 2nd place among the NL in batting average
After a solid 4-3 start to begin the 2023 campaign, the Chicago Cubs have moved into second place in the National League regarding team batting average with a collective slash line of .281/.343/.405, trailing only their division rival, St. Louis Cardinals. Yesterday's routing of the Texas Rangers marked the club's third 10+ hit performance and the second time they’ve recorded at least ten runs in a ballgame in seven contests.
Backed by superb contact at the top of the Cubs lineup, the Cubs are proving they can hang offensively against the better pitchers in the league. First, they beat Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes on Opening Day, and now they have defeated Martin Perez, who earned his first All-Star appearance while posting a career-best 2.89 ERA just a season ago.
Taking a closer look, it’s no surprise the Cubs have propelled themselves as high as they have through this part of the season. Although it is early, what the team has done offensively is an encouraging sign of their capability when firing on all cylinders. Let’s glance over some of the individual stats for key contributors:
- Dansby Swanson: .429/.515/.500
- Ian Happ: .375/.531/.625
- Nico Hoerner: .333/.333/.394
- Patrick Wisdom: .348/.400/.826
- Eric Hosmer: .300/.364/.400
- Trey Mancini: .259/.276/.259
The additions of Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini have thus far paid off tremendously. Hosmer is hitting for average and delivering with runners in scoring position. Together, the pair has knocked in twelve runs in seven games. Elsewhere, Patrick Wisdom has been a bright spot to begin the season. He leads the team in home runs and is currently part of a five-way tie among team RBI leaders with six.
Chicago Cubs: More reinforcements are coming soon
Let’s not forget that the Cubs are set to get a considerable boost offensively with the imminent return of the team's highest-projected hitter, Seiya Suzuki. He has now played a rehab game in Triple-A Iowa, going 1-1 with a walk and an RBI sacrifice fly. Once he returns to the Cubs, this group of hitters will be dangerous.
The club, however, can afford to draw more walks. 50% of their walks have come solely from Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ. So, It would be nice to see their on-base percentage be higher with how high their batting average is. Elsewhere, their team OPS of .748 is good for only the 14th-best across the entire league. Suzuki should be able to add to those numbers in his sophomore campaign.
After the series with the Rangers wraps up, the Cubs will play the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers next week. Both will serve as another test for them to prove they're not just hot streak but, in fact, one of the better-hitting teams in the league. Hopefully, the Cubs will keep rolling offensively and begin to close out April with a winning record.