The Tampa Bay Rays have been MLB’s best team in 2023 by a considerable margin.
Just about every stat proves they have had no peers when it comes to performance.
They have the best record in baseball at 19-3, with an ongoing five-game winning streak.
The next-best team in the league, the Pittsburgh Pirates, have a 16-7 record.
The Rays’ run differential is an insane +88, and the closest squad, the Texas Rangers, have +60.
No one else has more than 40 positive runs.
For a closer look at how the Rays fare in most leaderboards, the folks at @RaysMetrics have us covered.
Rays MLB ranks:
149 R (1st)
48 HR (1st)
.282 AVG (1st)
.355 OBP (1st)
.535 SLG (1st)
.365 xwOBA (1st)
8.6 Hitter WAR (1st)
2.71 ERA (1st)
3.28 FIP (1st)
1.05 WHIP (1st)
.191 BAA (1st)
.279 xwOBA (1st)
3.8 Pitcher WAR (1st)
— Rays Metrics (@RaysMetrics) April 23, 2023
The primary takeaway of those numbers is that Tampa Bay is dominating at the most elemental facets of the game: hitting and pitching.
No one has scored more runs than the Rays’ 149 runs so far in 2023, but at the same time, they are preventing runs at an elite rate as their 2.71 ERA indicates.
The Rays lead baseball in the three triple slash stats: batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage.
They also pace MLB in home runs, with 48.
Their pitchers are holding hitters to the lowest batting average in the majors, at .191.
They are doing all this without any major investments in the offseason, other than the currently injured Zach Eflin.
The Rays have found a way, through analytics and flawless coaching, to improve the talent existing on their roster.
Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, Isaac Paredes, Josh Lowe, Luke Raley, Taylor Walls, Yandy Diaz, Harold Ramirez, Drew Rasmussen, Taj Bradley, and other players have taken a major step forward in their development, and it definitely shows in the standings.
The Rays are a very, very tough team to beat.NEXT: Rays Return To A Familiar Spot On An Important List