Breaking down the best team in baseball

By Luis C. Medina

The Chicago Cubs aren’t just good, they’re great.

Dare I say, this season, they’re among the elite teams in baseball.

So what do you do when a team you’ve followed since you were a young child learning the game of baseball is dominating the competition?

You let it sink in.

The Cubs (83-50) are 33 games above the .500 mark is one better than the infamous 1969 Cubs’ high-water mark of the season. The 83 wins through 133 games is one more than the 1945 National League pennant winning team, and three more than the 1908 championship team.

Part of the Cubs’ success is due to their discipline at the plate. The North Siders have drawn 537 walks, or a little more than four walks per game. The 537 walks this season is 142 more than the team drew in 2006. Clearly, the Dusty Baker mindset of walks clogging bases is no longer with this team.

The differential between the runs the Cubs have scored against the runs the Cubs pitchers have allowed is astonishing. The +191 run differential is the best in all of baseball, 69 more than the Boston Red Sox, the Cubs closest competitor in that stat.

The best thing (from the Cubs’ standpoint) has to be that they’ve done it without a clear MVP candidate, a $12 million right fielder who’s only hitting .266, and a center fielder whose career batting average against the Cubs (.270) is higher than his average while with the team (.261).

Yeah, I’m looking at you, Jim Edmonds.

So, it’s OK to relax, Cubs fans. You can resume worrying Sept. 1.