Chicago Cubs: 5 reasons the Cubs are World Series favorites

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Chicago Cubs Daniel Murphy
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

It’s no coincidence that the Cubs offense turned it on after acquiring Daniel Murphy.

For some reason, when the Washington Nationals placed Daniel Murphy on waivers, no other club put in a claim for the former Cub killer.

It’s hard to believe that no contending team that had a shot at Murphy before the Cubs were interested, but somehow one of the best pure hitters in the game fell through the cracks and was shipped to the North Side for a nominal return.

Since breaking out in the 2015 postseason while propelling the New York Mets to the World Series, Murphy’s 141 wRC+ is tied for the 11th-highest among all big league batters. That wRC+ statistic means that as a hitter, Murphy has produced runs at a 41 percent better rate than the average MLB batter. For context, over that time period, Murphy’s wRC+ is higher than Mookie Betts, Matt Carpenter, Bryce Harper, and new teammate Anthony Rizzo.

Related Story. Re-signing Daniel Murphy should be a priority. light

Injuries pushed Murphy’s season debut all the way back to June 12th and he didn’t do well out of the gate. From his first game until the All-Star break, Murphy slashed just .253/.309/.333 – a far cry from his typical stat line.

Murphy has bounced back tremendously in the season’s second half. He’s hitting .346/.376/.552 since the All-Star break.

The injuries that hampered him early in the season may have scared some teams off, but it’s still shocking that no other team contending for the playoffs wanted Murphy’s bat in their lineup.

Murphy’s superb skills at the plate should bring more consistency to a Cubs offense that has struggled to produce at times throughout the season.

Since entering the Cubs lineup on August 22nd in Detroit, the Cubs have gone 8-1 and have not lost a game in which Murphy started. The offense is scoring 6 runs a game since he’s joined the team.

Murphy’s hot hitting has propelled the Cubs over the last week, and it shouldn’t stop anytime soon. In 24 career postseason games, he has a .323/.407/.613 batting line and he’s not the only new Cub with meaningful playoff experience.