Don’t look now but the Chicago Cubs are 12-3 after the All-Star Break. We all knew that it was just a matter of time before they turned it around. Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey have combined for an ERA of less than 2.50. Now with a healthy Hendricks back in the rotation, it all but solidifies the pitching. From what was a 3.5 games behind on the Milwaukee Brewers is now a 1.5 game lead atop the NL Central Division. It seems like the Cubs have taken control of the division and will not look to concede it again. RISP % has improved from the first half, which makes a big difference in winning games. Kyle Schwarber is hitting the ball like he is expected to and has slightly raised his batting average. Wilson Contreras has arguably been the Cubs’ most valuable hitter this season and has become the second most valuable catcher in baseball, after Salvador Perez. His electrifying bat and powerful glove skills make him so important in the lineup.
With the trade deadline looming Monday at 4pm, there is not much the Cubs need to bolster other than a reliever, which I am sure other teams will covet as well. Some options could be Padres’ Brad Hand, Orioles’ Zach Britton, Tigers’ Justin Wilson.
The Cubs are rolling. The Cubs are back. There is no stopping the Cubs now.