On Tuesday, as the Chicago Cubs clinched a series victory against the rival Pirates, they raised their season run differential to +89, the largest in the majors. The Cubs’ offense is firing on all cylinders and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Through 25 contests, the Cubs are currently averaging a staggering 6.12 runs per game. With offensive production like that, it’s no surprise the Cubs are holding onto the best record in MLB at 19-6.
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To give you an idea of just how good their +89 run differential is, the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently in second place in the category, have a +40 run differential.
The Cubs have more than doubled the next best team in the category, putting some perspective on how potent their offense has been.
According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs’ +89 run differential is the largest mark through 25 games since 1905 (you read that correctly).
After one month of baseball, the Cubs are what we thought they would be–an offensive powerhouse. But will they be able to maintain this hot start?
Much of that will depend on the pitching staff. We’ve come to expect just one run or fewer from Jake Arrieta every five days, and the rest of the staff is holding their own as well. Jon Lester is off to a much better start this year, going 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA before Wednesday’s match, but perhaps the biggest surprise so far has been Jason Hammel.
Hammel is pitching to the tune of a 4-0 record with an ERA of 1.24. Last season raised some concerns about Hammel’s ability to pitch efficiently during the second half of the season, but that could arguably be attributed to a “nagging” hamstring injury.
Perhaps his new found success is the product of the bushy new beard he sports? After all, Jake Arrieta did suggest Hammel grow one, and any advice from the reigning NL Cy Young award winner is probably advice worth taking.
Going into Wednesday’s game, the Chicago Cubs boasted a 2.29 team ERA, the best among all teams in the majors. The pitching staff continues to hold opponents in check as the hitters continue to rake at the plate.
At +89, the Cubs have already surpassed their 2015 mark of +81. The same team that won 97 games. One thing remains certain; this Cubs team is one to be feared, as it continues to surge and add to a first place lead that just keeps growing.