Hitting lefties is still a major issue with this team, but always encouraging to win games against lesser opponents.
The Cubs have been much worse against lefties since 2016. How much it really matters is debatable, but it was a major problem for them last year and it hasn't gotten better.The big issue re: lefties is power. And that's simply a sign of Contreras and Baez slumping and Bryant being hurt. That should self-correct assuming Baez and Contreras find their normal selves and Bryant eventually comes back healthy (which might not be until the playoffs, unfortunately).
Ian Happ just looks like he owns the batters box this year. That kid is oozing confidence at the moment.
Walks and strikeouts during this time?Either way, since being called back up... 93 games .282/.374/.600, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 152 OPS+. All Star verging on MVP level performance. If I had any criticism, it’d be that I’d like to see a guy with his speed steal more.
Walks and strikeouts during this time?
EDIT: And aren't steals a losing proposition based on advanced stats?
Nice analysis, thanks! I'd like to see Happ closer to 20% (not sure if he's trending that direction) but I like the fact he's lopped off 10% from his K rate.2017-18 K%: 33.8
2019-20 K%: 24.4
MLB avg.: 22.4
2017-18 BB%: 12.5
2019-20 BB%: 12.5
MLB avg.: 8.6
So he dropped his K% by 10 points while maintaining his BB%. He now strikes out just a little bit above MLB average while continuing to walk at a higher rate than MLB average.
As for steals, there’s a stolen base percentage that makes it worthwhile, and what that percentage is depends on how much you value OBP compared to SLG. Figure every stolen base turns a single into a double on your SLG and every caught stealing turns a single into an out when it comes to your OBP and your SLG. So in 100 ABs every a stolen base adds .001 to your SLG, while every CS subtracts .001 from your SLG. For every 100 PAs a caught stealing subtracts .001 from your OBP, while successful steals don’t help your OBP.
Everyone agrees that OBP is more important than SLG, but there’s disagreement on exactly what the proportion is. I think the consensus is that a .600 OBP is about as good as a 1.000 SLG. So if you take that ratio into account and basically assume that in 100 ABs a stolen base adds .001 to your OPS while a caught stealing subtracts more than .002 (depending on how much you walk), that comes out to basically needing a 3 to 1 (75%) stolen base rate to be effective.
MLB’s overall stolen base rate this year: 74.5%. It’s as if these guys might know what they’re doing!
Anyway, I think Happ is fast enough that he should be able to steal 20-ish bases a year in the right situations.