Since the All-Star Break, the Cubs have gone OVER the run total in 13 of 19 games. This week alone they’ve scored more than 15 runs in a game twice.
Something’s brewing on the North Side. Will Chicago’s offensive explosion continue? And can it get the Cubs back to the playoffs?
Cubs OVERs Are On a Heater
|Month||OVER Record||Unit Profit|
In the last month, the Cubs have been baseball's best OVER team flashing one of the most profitable MLB betting trends. If you bet on every Chicago OVER since July 1st, you'd be up over 10 units.
Where's The Offense Coming From?
The Cubs came out of the break with 145 total runs (averaging 7.6 per game). That was 43 more runs than any other team. As of August 3, they led baseball in batting average, stolen bases, on-base percentage, and OPS in that time. The avalanche of offense has come from an uptick in production from basically every regular in the Cubs' lineup:
|Player||OPS Pre-ASB||OPS Post-ASB||Difference|
Cody Bellinger's turned from an All-Star into an MVP candidate in the second half. But, the big Chicago breakout has been Mike Tauchman.
July 2023 was arguably the best month of Tauchman's career. He tied a career-high 18 RBI in a month, hit .273, and posted an .809 OPS in the month.
The 32-year-old may come back down to earth, but he seems to have found something this year. Tauchman's one of the most disciplined hitters in baseball this year with a 98th percentile chase rate. He's also slapping the ball around the park, ranking in the top 20 percent of the league in expected batting average and xwOBA.
To post the kind of offensive numbers Chicago is right now, you need a lot to go right. Tauchman's breakout is just one of those things.
Will The OVERs Continue?
I mean, the Cubs aren't going to average eight runs per game for the rest of the season, I can tell you that. But, there are a few more nuanced reasons to think the offense will come back down to earth.
Chicago's (league-leading) team babip of .354 in the last month suggests the squad is getting particularly lucky on balls in play right now. The team isn't top-five in walk rate or strikeout rate, suggesting it's not an elite collective approach driving the offense and more batted-ball luck.
Since the break, the Cubs have also had the luxury of facing the Nationals, Cardinals, White Sox, and Reds. All four of those squads rank within the bottom 7 in team ERA. With series coming up against the Braves and Blue Jays, putting up eight runs in a game could get tougher.
Even if the run-scoring continues, though, MLB odds will adjust. On the season, the Cub's average run total line has been set at 8.56 (per BetViz). That's ninth-lowest in MLB this year. However, the recent Cubs offensive surge is moving the number, with recent numbers heading up to 10.0 and 10.5.
Can The Lineup Carry Chicago To The Playoffs?
Regardless of if Chicago OVERs stay profitable, the real question for Cubs fans and casual baseball bettors is if this offensive success has turned the team into a playoff contender?
World Series odds still aren't convinced Chicago's a title threat, as the Cubs' +10000 line only implies a 0.99% chance. But, their shot of winning the NL Central is increasing by the day. A few more big offensive performances, and the Cubs' playoff odds may close in on a 50/50 chance:
|Date||Chicago's NL Central Odds|