In its first 28 games Tampa Bay outscored its opponents by 83 runs. That’s such an absurd pace that if the Rays kept it up they would finish with a run differential of +480. For context, it would blow away the run differentials of the 1998 Yankees (+309), 1927 Yankees (+376) and 1939 Yankees (+411), three of the greatest teams of all time.
Wade Davis, Matt Garza, David Price and Jeff Niemann, for instance, rank 6-7-8-9 in the league for greatest percentage of fastballs.
The Rays are only the seventh team in the 15 full seasons with the wild-card format to go 21-7 at the start of a season. Of the previous six, five won their division, including two eventual world champions. Only the 2002 Red Sox started 21-7 and didn’t make the playoffs — and they won 93 games. And the average win total for those six teams? Try 103.