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Dodgers are hottest team ever!

8/12/2013

Behind the great Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers won again on Sunday, beating the Rays to complete an impressive three-game sweep. Back on June 21, the Dodgers were 30-42, in last place in the NL West, 9.5 games out of first.

Since then, the Dodgers have gone 37-8, becoming just the fifth NL team in 75 years to win at least 37 games over a 45-game stretch, and the first since the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. Since June 22, the Dodgers have the best wOBA in the NL (and third in the majors behind the Tigers and Red Sox); a 2.56 ERA, best in the majors; they've allowed the fewest runs (132), while scoring the second-most (222, tied with the Braves, behind the Tigers).

Obviously, 37-8 is pretty rare. Here are the teams with 37 wins in 45 games since 1950 (data from ESPN Stats & Info and the Baseball-Reference Play Index):

2013 Dodgers: 37-8, +90 run differential

2005 A's: 37-8, +134

2001 A's: 37-8, +148

1998 Yankees: 37-8, +130

1977 Royals: 37-8, +99

1954 Indians: 37-8, +99

1953 Dodgers: 37-8, +127

1951 Giants: 38-7, +92

By the way, those 2005 A's didn't even make the playoffs, finishing 88-74. Like the Dodgers, they started slow and were 27-39 when they began their hot streak. They were leading the Angels by a game heading into September but went 13-17 down the stretch and finished 7 games out of first.

I thought it would be fun to check the best 45-game stretches of some of baseball's most memorable teams, so here those are:

2002 A's (103-59): 36-9 (won 20 in a row)

2001 Mariners (116-46): 36-9 (they also had a non-overlapping 34-11 stretch)

1984 Tigers (104-58): 36-9 (started the season 35-5)

1975 Reds (108-54): 36-9

1939 Yankees (106-45): 37-8

1935 Cubs (100-54): 34-11 (won record 21 in a row)

1931 A's (107-45): 38-7 (won 17 in a row)

1927 Yankees (110-44): 36-9

1916 Giants (86-66): 33-9 (had 26-game unbeaten streak that included a tie)

1906 Cubs (116-36): 41-4 (!)

Usually, the best in-season stretches of 45 games top out at 33 or 34 wins. Here are the best streches during the wild-card era:

2012: Yankees, 33-12

2011: Brewers, 34-11

2010: White Sox, 34-11

2009: Yankees and Angels, 34-11

2008: Astros, 33-12

2007: Red Sox, 33-12

2006: Twins: 35-10

2005: A's, 37-8

2004: Astros and Cardinals, 35-10

2003: Braves, 34-11

2002: A's, 36-9

2001: A's, 37-8

2000: White Sox and Giants, 32-13

1999: Diamondbacks, 34-11

1998: Yankees, 37-8

1997: Braves, 33-12

1996: Braves and Indians, 33-12

1995: Indians, 34-11