When it comes to run differential, it is nothing more than the difference of runs scored with the number of runs allowed. However, it can help in a way to measure out projected future success for a franchise.
The Chicago Cubs just closed out a series victory against the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox. After winning five of their last six games, the club sits at a 21-16 record, a mere single game out of first place.
Offensively, the team has been feast or famine for most of the season. They lead all of Major League Baseball in 10+ run outbursts so far in 2018, but will go a week without scoring more than three runs in a game.
Pitching-wise, it’s been largely positive. Big innings have hurt Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish. Meanwhile, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks continue to lead the charge for the rotation. In the pen, Joe Maddon has plenty of quality options at his disposal from both the left and right side.
After scoring 22 total runs in the three-game set versus the White Sox, the Cubs sit at a +54 run differential. It is indeed impressive; however, we knew all along these bats can mash. So, how important is run differential in determining trends of overall success?