|Top 2017 NL teams all feature high-powered offense
A glance at the Major League Baseball standings
on July 1 reveals that the NL division leaders are the Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies control the two NL Wildcard berths by a comfortable margin.
The five current holders of postseason positioning are also the five highest scoring teams in the National League. In fact, the each rank among the top ten teams in all of baseball to this point.
DIVISIONAL LEADERS SCORING BIG
The rampaging Los Angeles Dodgers are on top of the NL West Division with a 54-28 record that is the league’s best. The Dodgers have won 19 of their last 22 games to pull 3.5 games clear of Arizona.
The Dodgers have scored 428 runs, second in the NL, the fourth best total in MLB. Offense has been their calling card during this current white-hot 22-game stretch.
The team has scored at least a half-dozen runs 14x during that three-week period. On Friday night the Dodgers rolled over the San Diego Padres by a 10-4 score. It marked the fifth time in double-digits for the club in this hot stretch.
In the NL East, the Washington Nationals are 8.5 games clear of their nearest pursuers. The Nats have the league’s top offense over the course of the season with 447 runs scored.
When you hear that a team is on top of the NL Central with a top ten offense, you probably think it’s the defending world champion Chicago Cubs. But you would be wrong.
The Milwaukee Brewers have bashed their way to the top of the division. Their 394 runs scored ranks 10th in baseball, fifth in the National League.
The Cubs meanwhile were second in the NL and third in all of MLB a year ago when they rolled through the regular season en route to that World Series crown. But this year, the North Siders are just 16th in MLB in runs scored. It is one of the main reasons that they trail the Brew Crew two games.
WILDCARD TEAMS ARE ALSO BASHING
The Dbacks and Rockies are squaring off this weekend in a head-to-head matchup between the two current Wildcard teams. At 50-31, Arizona is 9.5 games up on the Cubs. The Rockies 48-34 mark has them seven ahead of Chicago in the race for the final berth.
The two NL west rivals rank fifth and sixth in all of baseball, with the Dbacks having scored 422 runs and the Rockies crossing the plate 416 times. Colorado won the opener of the series in Arizona on Friday night by a 6-3 score, snapping an eight game losing skid.
Four of the five can also be found among the top eight clubs in Major League Baseball in the OPS category. The Rockies rank 12th, so they are not slouch in that solid measure of overall offensive performance.
Now, go to the bottom of the National League overall standings. The San Diego Padres (33-47), San Francisco Giants (31-51), and the moribund Philadelphia Phillies (26-52) clubs currently have the worst records in the league. In fact, those are the three worst records in all of baseball.
Those three clubs also happen to be at the bottom of the offensive rankings. They are the three worst clubs by OPS. Only the Giants ranking ahead of the Kansas City Royals keeps them from being the three lowest scoring clubs as well.
For a long time, the National League was known as the pitching and defense league. While you still need those two elements in order to succeed, the statistics don’t lie. Offense wins in the 2017 season.
If you want to win, you need to produce runs. Those who are doing so are being rewarded. Those who are not, well, let’s just say that their seasons are already over.