The 2016 Cubs were one of the most frustrating lineups to watch in the playoffs. They had power throughout the order but they had more swing and miss than just about anyone else in the league and when you are facing playoff-caliber pitching every night with expanded strike zones the strikeout numbers became problematic.
That team had enough pure talent to overcome those strikeout shortcomings, but most teams simply don’t. The 2023 team doesn’t need to overcome that. They’re in the middle of the pack for the league as far as strikeout numbers, but they don’t waste at-bats. Mike Tauchman is a perfect example of this. As aggressive as hitters like Nico Hoerner and Christopher Morel can be, you have guys like Tauchman and Seiya Suzuki that are willing to watch pitches to get a pitcher deeper into counts and make them work for everything they get.
This team has the fourth-best walk rate and the fourth-highest on-base percentage in baseball. This is what a playoff team looks like.