The Cubs won again last night. That puts their record at 40-16 and that’s pretty darn good. It’s good enough for a 10-game lead in what was supposed to be the toughest division in baseball. It also puts them on par with the 2001 Seattle Mariners for fastest time to reach 40 wins in baseball history.
That Mariners club ended up winning 116 wins. It’s hard to imagine any team doing that in this age of greater parity, but who the heck knows. The Cubs are certainly clicking and they’re doing it with what tends to be the hallmark of dominant teams: a healthy, stable rotation. All of the clubs’ starts have come from five dudes — Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel — and every one of them has a superior pitching line on the season. They also have the best offense in the National League, which yeah, kind of helps.
Anything can happen in baseball. The Cubs could reach the NLCS and get swept by an 86-win wild card team. Ask the 2001 Mariners what 116 regular season wins does for you come October. But at the moment they’re doing everything right and they’re running away with the Central.