We’re about a quarter way into the MLB season at this point, which means “hot streaks” and “trends” are starting to become realities. Now we can start to trust what our eyes and the numbers are telling us as a reality.
Baseball is a wildly inconsistent sport on a day-to-day basis, but if you trust the process on the whole, we can begin to tell which offenses should be most elite this season. Here are the 10 best offenses in baseball (with a DFS focus), not just to this point, but with an eye towards the remainder of the season. (Example: The Kansas City Royals are a fantastic team, but the ultimate small ball team. Hence, they didn’t make the cut).
1. Boston Red Sox
No surprise here. The pitching needs help, but the Sox have by far the most feared lineup in the majors, especially at Fenway. Through 41 games, Boston is hitting .296 with 433 hits (166 XBH), 49 homers and 240 runs. Five everyday players are hitting over .300, Bogaerts and Bradley Jr. are approaching .340, and that doesn’t include Pedroia currently batting .299.
2. Chicago Cubs
Chicago’s batting average hurts (.257) and a huge part of their incredible start can be attributed to pitching. That said, this offense can pile up the runs — 221 in just 39 games. With contributions coming from so many places, they may be a little tougher to stack, but Rizzo, Zobrist and Fowler have been playing at an elite level. And remember, these guys are missing Schwarber for the rest of the season.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
The pitching in STL has killed the team this season, it’s something the Cardinals always rely on as such consistent contenders. That said, the usual suspects have still been contributing to an offense that’s been taken to the next level by some new contributors — like Aledmys Diaz hitting .372 (second highest in the majors). The young outfielders along with Molina throwing together one of his best years at the dish has all amounted to 228 runs (much thanks to 55 home runs).
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
Like the Cubs, the Pirates may not always have a “stackable” offense, but they’re getting tons of production from a lot of areas. The lineup changes a lot based on the opposing pitching, which has led to guy like Matt Joyce putting up strong numbers in limited opportunity. Marte, Harrison, Polanco and the list goes on and on. All of these guys are having good seasons, so don’t be scared off by guys that don’t play everyday when they’re in the lineup. If anyone is having an off season it’s Cutch — batting .248 but has left the yard eight times.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
‘Zona is the only other team to reach the 400-run plateau so far this season outside of Boston. They’re also sixth in MLB with 194 runs and, despite hitting .266, are one of the teams in the 50 home run club already. Goldschmidt is leading the way with eight of the homers, but six guys on the team have 5+ homers and nine guys have 3+. Segura has also been elite in the leadoff role, batting .335.
6. Seattle Mariners
Shockingly, Seattle doesn’t even have a .300 hitter so far this season (Cano is batting .299, but I didn’t count Pedroia for the Sox, so tough). Cano is however leading the AL with 12 home runs and all of baseball with 36 RBI. We all know what Cruz can do and Seager is having a great season himself. The biggest reason this team is where it is? 55 long balls.
7. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore just feels like its’ evened off a little too much after its hot start. The Orioles have an elite offense that’s loaded with home run hitters — Trumbo (12), Machado (11), Davis (9). Outside of 57 dingers, Baltimore strikes out and is middle of the pack in non-HR extra base hits. They are seventh in MLB with a .264 average, but if they could find a way to get players across home plate more without the ball leaving the park, they’d be much higher on this list.
8. Detroit Tigers
Detroit has six players with more than five home runs, three of which are all hitting over .319. That’s pretty unique. Those three guys are Martinez, Kindler and the AL batting average leader, Castellanos (.350). We’ve gone this far and not even mentioned Miggy yet, so yeah, this offense it pretty good, and probably even underrated.
9. Colorado Rockies
Yes, I made the Rockies pay for playing half their games on the moon, but I wasn’t going to leave them off the list all together. Arenado leads MLB with 13 homers, Story is right behind him with 12, the team bats .274 and has scored 202 runs. There’s a lot to like here … when they’re playing in their park. However, stacking this team on the road is a good contrarian move at times when they’re getting no attention.
10. Tampa Bay Rays/New York Mets
I couldn’t leave these teams off the list for one reason: home runs. Tampa has 58 and New York has 56. I was shocked that the Rays have the most homers in MLB. The main reason? They’re dead last in MLB with 159 runs! That’s freaking crazy. The Mets can’t score or hit for average either, but these two teams are your ultimate trick or treat offenses thus far.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow