The Luck o' the Cubbish

The Wall Street Journal took time out Friday from reporting on the end of life as we know it to explain why the Angels are baseball's luckiest team. Darren Everson points to three indicators: the performance of the team's hitters when there happen to be runners in scoring position, how many opposition baserunners have been stranded by Mike Scioscia's relievers, and how dramatically the Angels have outperformed their Pythagorean record— L.A. has won 12 more games than one would expect based on its run differential; the Rays are the next biggest overachievers at +6.

Above is a look at how the Cubs compare to the rest of the field of NL contenders. ("RISP" is team's batting average with runners in scoring position; "IRS" is percentage of inherited runners stranded; and "PYTH +/-" is the team's actual record vis a vis the projection based on runs scored and allowed.)

As you can see, the Cubs lead the way in both RISP and IRS, and are in the middle of the pack in terms of outperforming their expected record. I guess by the Journal's figuring, that would make them the NL's luckiest team.

As long as that good fortune holds out for another, oh, three weeks or so, I would think we could all live with being lucky.


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