We’re somewhere around 15% through the 2018 Major League Baseball season, and as you might expect, the early races for the top of each division in the MLB is still fluid. Even some of the best teams in the league – a few of whom we’ll talk about on this list – still face competition from division rivals that are nipping at their heels.
However, while eight teams in the league have a winning percentage over .600, there are four teams in the league right now that have an early lead on the rest of the pack. While there is still plenty of baseball left to be played, the following four teams are the early “class of the MLB”:
4. NY Mets — Many people thought the New York Mets would be a potential challenger to the supremacy of the New York Mets in the National League East division, but almost nobody thought they’d have such a decisive lead over their highly-touted rival. The Mets not only have the best record in the NL East and the second best record in the National League, but they’ve also beaten the Nationals four of the six times they’ve played this month. After years of hype, with little to justify that hype, pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom have been stellar this year, accumulating nearly one-third (five) of the Mets total wins to date (16).
3. Arizona Diamondbacks — A team that had lofty expectations, which many questioned as being potentially premature, has lived up to those expectations so far. The Arizona Diamondbacks have the second-highest winning percentage in baseball right now (.731), and the highest winning percentage in the National League. Arizona’s trio of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, centerfielder A.J. Pollock, and right fielder David Peralta have powered the Diamondbacks offense, and the pitching staff has surrendered the fewest runs in the National League.
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2. Boston Red Sox — The Red Sox keep the hands-down No. 1 spot — even after managing to more than double their loss total last week. Though, that’s not a terrible thing because they’d only lost two games prior to that. For the Red Sox, as good as they are, one of those losses needed to be a no-hitter. For one, Boston has the highest winning percentage in the MLB (.760) and the highest run differential in the MLB (+64). They’ve scored the second-most runs in baseball, and allowed the fewest runs. Over the first 18 days of April, they lost exactly one game. The only negative thing you can say about the Red Sox right onw is that they’ve lost three of their last six games. Other than that, they have a valid claim to being the best team in baseball.
1. Houston Astros – Ignore the fact that the Houston Astros actually have the lowest winning percentage (.630) of any team on this list. For one, they have the second-highest run differential of any team in the MLB (+51), and they’re among the top 10 teams in virtually every statistical category you can think of: batting average, OPS, runs, home runs, ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts per nine innings. The mid-April swoon in which they lost five of six games didn’t help, but the team appears to be rounding back into the form that took them to the World Series last year. Some people will argue that they’re “fattening up” on some of the lesser teams in the league, but Houston is doing what they’re supposed to do: beat the teams that they’re better than.