clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

At the 100 game mark, Phillies are the most improved team in baseball . . . by a lot

New, 60 comments

Gabe Kapler’s team has improved the most over last season. Will this make him the NL Manager of the Year?

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

At the 100 game mark, the Phillies are 56-44, good for first place in the NL East by one game over the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies also have the third-best record in the NL, only two games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs.

This season has been a huge, exciting surprise, giving a jolt to a franchise that most people thought was still a year or two from serious contention.

Of course, what makes this season such a surprise is how much the team has improved over last year. In 2017, after 100 games, the Phillies were 36-64. That’s a remarkable 20 game turn around in just one year. Gabe Kapler’s team has been truly amazing in this regard.

It has also been the best in baseball by this measure. The closest teams in terms of most improved at this point in the season are the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, both of whom have improved by 15 wins over the same point in the season last year. The Phillies have bested both of them by another 5 wins.

Here’s the chart of all 30 teams and how they’ve improved over last season at this point (using the Phillies’ 100th game this season as the benchmark, meaning some teams are being compared with their 98th or 103rd game last season, depending on how many they’ve played this year as of last night):

Most Improved 2017-18

Team 2017 2018 Diff
Team 2017 2018 Diff
Phillies 36 56 20
Red Sox 56 71 15
A's 44 59 15
Giants 39 52 13
Yankees 53 64 11
Mariners 50 60 10
Braves 47 54 7
Cubs 53 58 5
Brewers 54 58 4
Pirates 50 53 3
Reds 41 44 3
Cardinals 50 51 1
Angels 49 50 1
Blue Jays 46 46 0
Rays 52 51 -1
Astros 68 67 -1
Indians 55 54 -1
Dbacks 59 56 -3
White Sox 39 36 -3
Twins 49 46 -3
Tigers 47 43 -4
Marlins 49 44 -5
Rockies 58 53 -5
Padres 47 42 -5
Mets 47 41 -6
Rangers 50 42 -8
Nationals 61 49 -12
Dodgers 70 56 -14
Orioles 48 29 -19
Royals 53 31 -22

Here’s one more way to look at how much the Phillies have improved over last year - it wasn’t until September 13 last year that the Phillies won their 56th game. That was the 145th game of the season, a full 45 games more than it’s taken them this year.

Being the most improved after 100 games is no guarantee the same will be true after 162 games, but this is about as good a start to the season as we could have asked for.

And, it’s also pretty compelling evidence that, so far, Gabe Kapler is the NL Manager of the Year.