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Breaking Down the Staying Power of MLB's Early Surprise Teams

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Breaking Down the Staying Power of MLB's Early Surprise Teams
JEFFREY PHELPS

Each MLB season sees a handful of unexpected teams get off to good starts, and this year has been no different.

What follows is a look at the six surprise teams of the 2014 season's first three weeks along with my take on whether they are for real or a fluke.

To be considered an early-season surprise, teams had to be .500 or better entering play Friday and be outperforming my expectations entering the season.

Included with each team's record is a look at where I had them ranked in my Opening Day power rankings in order to give you an idea of what my expectations were heading into the year.

From there, I break down each team's offense and pitching so far this season, followed by a "fluke" rating from 1-5, which indicates the following:

  • 1: Team is not a fluke at all and will be able to contend.
  • 2: Team is not a fluke but may be just on the outside of contention.
  • 3: Team is not a contender but has a chance at a winning record.
  • 4: Team is a fluke but is still better than expected entering the year.
  • 5: Team is a fluke and will regress to preseason expectations.

I then determine where the surprise teams fall on that scale, based on what I've seen so far this year and how I expect things to play out going forward.

 

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

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