In the CBS Sports Power Rankings this week the Chicago Cubs were dethroned as the top club in MLB by the Texas Rangers after a 12 week run as number one. However, in the ESPN Power Rankings the Cubs are the top team and the San Francisco Giants are number two. Therefore, there are differing opinions on who is the best team.
The reason why the Cubs have fallen from the undisputed number one is because going into Monday the Cubs lost six of their last seven games. Since that point the Cubs have won their last three games, getting back on track. Let’s take a look at the Cubs and Rangers to determine who truly is the best team in MLB.
Even though the Cubs are 4-6 in their last ten games, they still possess the best record in MLB, by a half of a game. The best thing the Cubs have going for them is their run differential, a +170. This is 88 runs better than the next best team. They also have MLB’s best ERA, 2.86, and have scored the third most runs per game, 5.30. The stats point to the Cubs being the overall best team in MLB baseball. However, in one run games, the Cubs have a losing record, 10-11. In 2015, only two teams made the playoffs with a losing record in one run games, the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers. Therefore, the Cubs seem to be a dominate team, but underneath the surface they have work to do.
The Rangers only have one fewer loss than the Cubs so far this season. However, they are very different than the Cubs. The Rangers are the best team in MLB in one runs games with a 17-5 record. The Rangers also have a potent offense, scoring 4.96 runs per game, fifth best in baseball. Their weakness is their pitching, even though they have a team ERA of 3.96, 9th best in MLB. Starting pitchers Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis are both on the disabled list and have an ERA lower than 3.30. This makes people hesitate when marking the Rangers as the best team in MLB.
Even though the Rangers have injuries issues and are not as flashy as the Cubs, they are still my pick as the best team in MLB. In the longrun, their ability to win tight games will prove to be a huge asset in the 2nd half of the season and the playoffs. The Rangers pitching will get healthier and adding an arm at the deadline would not hurt. The Rangers are not significantly better, but they narrowly edge the Cubs for the best MLB team.