Halfway home and feeling fine

The Cubs enter the All-Star break 55-38 with a 2.5 game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central. They also have sole possession of the best record in the National League. 

In their past 10 games the Cubs have gone 7-3 and leapfrogged the Brewers—who have lost six straight—to reclaim the division lead.

And to put the cherry on top being the St. Louis Cardinals have fired head coach Mike Matheny. The Cubs are feeling good, and fans have a lot to cheer about. The team is coming off a sweep of the Padres, the Homerun Derby has both Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber and three all-stars are heading to D.C.

The Cubs have been streaky this season and have struggled to put Milwaukee in the rear view mirror, but things could change in the second half of the season.

Players such as Javier Baez and Albert Almora have had productive  seasons, which has filled the void left at times by Anthony Rizzo, who is currently batting .242. 

Under Joe Maddon the Cubs have proven to to be a second half team. After sitting one game under .500 in the first half of the season in 2017, the Cubs roared to a 49-25 finish. Similar feats where reached during 2016 when they finished 50-23, and again in 2015 when they finished 50-25. 

It is realistic they have a successful second half again this season. 

The Cubs pitching staff—which ranks fourth in ERA, first in shutouts and fifth in batting average against in the league—have seen contributions from pitchers who struggled to start the season. Jose Quintana has brought his ERA down to 3.92, and in his last two starts has allowed only two runs. The Cubs bullpen has also benefited, at times, from call-ups such as Anthony Bass and John Hancock. In his last 12 outings, Hancock has allowed two runs. 

Not all is well on the Cubs pitching staff as the team awaits the return of Yu Darvish, and are still searching for the answer to Tyler Chatwood's walk problem. 

But a few scuffling players can not sink this well rested Cubs team. 

 

With the way Maddon sets his lineups no player is being overworked, and if they are involved in a long division battle against the Brewers, will be more likely to outpace them come August and September. 

The team is rested, in first place and have the offensive firepower to have a long playoff run. As a team the Cubs hitters rank fifth in runs, third in hits, seventh in total bases and third in OPS. More hitters are stepping up to the plate and contributing to the teams' success. 

It sure is a good time to be a Cubs fan.