The last ten days or so have been pretty ugly for Chicago Cubs baseball. The Cubs lost six in a row, rebounded for a big win, and then followed the win up with an ugly and painful ninth inning loss.

Some people are more than a little worried.

But lets step back and be honest with ourselves for a moment. This team is really good. And a bad eight game run is not more indicative of the ability of this team than the entirety of the 143 games that the Cubs have played up to this point of the season. The Cubs currently stand 29 games above .500, and they are 4.5 games up on Milwaukee in both the division, and for the best record in the NL. They also have the second best record in baseball, falling just one game back of the Angels.

Lets take a look at how good they really are among playoff contenders (via Baseball Analysts):

TEAM RS RA DIF OPS OPSa OPS+ Without Evidence full ERA+
NYM 701 618 83 .756 .720 107 104
PHI 696 599 97 .761 .741 101 115
CHC 769 593 176 .806 .715 112 117
MIL 676 608 68 .765 .726 104 113
STL 685 633 52 .781 .768 111 102
HOU 643 665 -22 .744 .775 101 97
LAD 603 581 22 .721 .694 92 118
ARI 645 637 8 .737 .721 93 111

In other words, among National League teams the Cubs have:

  • Scored the most runs
  • Allowed the fewest runs
  • Have the largest run differential
  • Have the highest OPS
  • Have the highest OPS allowed
  • Have the highest OPS+
  • Have the second highest ERA+

They also have the highest OPS+, second highest ERA+, and highest run differential in all of baseball.

The Cubs have struggled over the last ten days or so, but they are still far and away the best team in the National League. And it really is not even close.

The Cubs have also struggled over the last ten days in part because two of their top three starters have not pitched. Neither pitcher is thought to be having serious problems, and both should be ready and healthy from here on out.

So lets relax a bit, and and enjoy one of the best Cubs teams that we (or at least I) have seen in our lifetimes.

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