July 12, 2017

(43–45, 5.5 games back in the NL Central, 7.5 games back in the Wild Card)World Series hangover or not, no team is underachieving quite like the Cubs. Not one member of the defending World Series Champions is exceeding expectations this year. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are betting on base and hitting for power, but they’re the only position players living up to their end of the bargain. Kyle Schwarber is hitting .178/.300/.394. Ben Zobrist is hitting .214/.307/.367. Addison Russell and Javier Baez, while great in the field, have not progressed at the plate. Meanwhile, every member of the rotation has regressed this season, putting strain on a bullpen that has been the strongest facet of the team thus far. Willson Contreras is quietly turning it on, and Ian Happ has provided a much-needed boost in the lineup, but this team needs its key members from last season’s glorious World Series run to start playing the way they did a year ago. —Michael Beller

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