So why are the Cubs under .500?
One reason is that they cannot score runs - just 183 going into tonight - good for 25th in the bigs. At the same time they've hit 52 homeruns, good for 5th in baseball. They once again lead the world in runs scored as a result of a homerun at 45.8% going into Sunday's game.
Of course the underlying reason is that they can't get on base. Here are the OBPs for those who've had significant playing time.
So essentially, only three players have an OBP that approaches or exceeds league average. The other eight players are abysmal - but that's not really the problem. The problem is that of those eight only Todd Hollandsworth can really be expected to raise his level of play. The other seven guys are doing pretty much what they do - flailing away at any pitch that comes within three feet of the dish.
On another note Baseball Musings has a chart of runs created versus actual runs that shows the Cubs are scoring 4.4 runs per game when they would be expected to score 4.7 runs per game given their offensive elements. One of the reasons for the underperformance is that so much of their offensive output has come from one player - Derrek Lee. Lee has hit 12 of those 52 homeruns, scored 30 and driven in 39 of the 183 runs (21.3%). Another might be Dusty Baker's propensity to give away outs. Take your pick.
BTW, for Royals fans Baseball Musing has this to say....
"It's difficult to believe the KC Royals are outperforming their expectation, but they are tied with the Angels and the Braves at .4 per game over their predicted value. The Royals are hitting 20 points lower with runners on than with the bases empty, but the hits they are getting are long hits. So they are doing a good job of drving runners around despite a low BA and OBA in the situation."