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MLB Standings: Cream Already Rising In National League

It's way, way, way too early to draw any conclusions from the MLB standings so far, obviously, but the results in the National League are already interesting. Or perhaps uninteresting? The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds, both division winners last year, are already on top of their respective divisions this year, and they've also been by far the top-performing teams in those divisions by run differential, which is a better indicator of how well a team is playing than a won-loss record is.

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NL East

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Phillies 7-3 +23

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Nationals 5-5 -3

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Marlins 5-5 -11

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Braves 5-6 +2

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Mets 4-6 -8

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NL Central

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Reds 8-3 +24

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Brewers 5-5 -5

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Pirates 5-5 -4

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Cubs 5-6 -12

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Cardinals 4-7 -6

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Astros 3-8 -12

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It's the same in the NL West, where a strong Colorado Rockies team has already taken first place and has by far the strongest run differential in the division.

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NL West

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Rockies 7-2 +15

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Dodgers 6-5 -6

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Diamondbacks 5-5 +4

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Giants 5-6 +1

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Padres 4-6 -2

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So, essentially, there are three NL teams crushing everyone right now, and then a mess of mediocrity behind them, with only three teams scoring more runs than they've allowed, and only barely. The Phillies, Reds and Rockies have outscored their opponents by 62 runs so far. That might not be significant, and I expect the NL Central in particular to be close, but it's interesting that three teams who were widely predicted to be the best in the league are crushing the competition so far.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.