This Chicago Cubs' stat highlights the poor state of the offense

The Cubs need to find a more sustainable offensive approach.
Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Heading into Tuesday's action, the Cubs are hitting .229, which is second-lowest in the National League. Seiya Suzuki has the highest average on the team, hitting .272, and only five hitters are above a .240 average. With many guys underperforming offensively so far, it's not surprising to see the team hitting at a sub-.230 clip.

MLB fans today as a whole understand that batting average doesn't hold the same value as it once did. More often hitters are evaluated by how they get on base and slug before their average. Especially for run producers. However, the overall struggles of the Cubs offense so far in 2024 make the low averages stick out more.

While the Cubs are decent at getting on base (.311 OBP), they are in the lower half in baseball in slugging (.372 slugging), OPS (.684), home runs (64), and overall pretty mediocre in terms of wRC+ (97). They are also in the top half in strikeout rate (23.4%). To put things in some perspective, despite hitting a middle-of-the-road .240 at a team, the Cleveland Guardians offense is top-10 in runs scored while slugging .400 and boasting a 107 wRC+.

Batting average isn't indicative of offensive success but signals a concern for the Cubs' offense.

The point is, if the Cubs will not hit for high averages, then the slugging and on-base needs to be more consistent. Even if everyone is performing to the back of their baseball cards, they aren't going to lead the league in batting average. However, they can be one of the better on-base teams. They don't have a collection of .300-type career hitters, but they did sport a .330 OBP (sixth in MLB) last year. As mentioned before their on-base so far this year has been okay in terms of getting on, but as a whole, it can be better.

With all of that said, the Cubs will still want to hit better than .229. There are four players with at least 140 ABs who are hitting below .230. It's also worth noting their dismal .218 average with runners in scoring position. That is one of the most damning offensive stats of this team so far. It was the fourth-lowest entering Monday's MLB action. The Royals and Guardians both are hitting over .290 with RISP.

Last season, the Cubs hit .254 as a team, 11th in baseball. Not the best, but notably better than this year's mark so far. They still produced the sixth-most runs (819) and slugged .421. The batting average might not be the most important offensive stat these days, but the lack of consistent offense and situational hitting is reflected in it. There is still plenty of time in the season to improve the numbers.