Lewis: Bears by the numbers


Lewis: Bears by the numbers

Much was made of the Bears offseason change at offensive coordinator and the additions of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush. They were key moves expected to help Jay Cutler advance the unit as a whole.
The Bears have played only five games but here is a look at how they ranked at the end of last year, with late season injuries to both Cutler and Matt Forte that derailed their season, and where they stand currently this season.
Last season the offense was 24th overall with 314.1 yards a game; this season they are 20th, averaging 346.2 yards per contest.
The passing offense in 2011 was 26th with a less than impressive 188.2 yards a game, a number that was affected by the loss of Cutler the last part of the year. In 2012, the Bears are throwing for 222.6 yards per game, 23rd in the NFL.
A misconception in the Mike Martz offense was that the team was not a good running team, but they ended his final season ninth in the NFL with 125.9 yards per game. In the new system, Matt Forte and company are 10th in the league with 123.6 yards per game.
During training camp the talk was about scoring points. Last season under Martz, the Bears averaged 22.1 points per game, which ranked 17th in the league. So far under Mike Tice, the group is second in the NFL in scoring with 29.8 points an outing. That also includes the five defensive touchdowns they have scored. Obviously defensive touchdowns count for every other team as well, but the offense itself is averaging 22.8 points per game.
What has been much better is the Bears third down offense. Last year they were 27th in the league,  converting on just 32 percent. In this new scheme, the offense is moving the third down chains at a 42.9 percent clip, 11th in the league.
Numbers can certainly be over-analyzed and can never really tell the whole story. The Bears have 11 games to play and it wouldn't be surprising if at least a few, if not all, of the above numbers don't improve.
The only thing that really matters is wins and losses.

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.

Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:

That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.

Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.

Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.

Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.

It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.

Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.