By Cliff Corcoran

How good are the Dodgers?

At 80-33 (.708) they have the best record in the Majors. Their 15 1/2-game lead in the National League West is the largest of any of the six division leaders. They have won 14 of their past 16, 25 of their past 29, and 28 of their past 33. Since July 4, they are 4-3 against the Braves and 21-1 against everyone else. In the space between Clayton Kershaw's most recent start and Yu Darvish's Dodgers debut, they went 8-1, and they are now 12-2 since their ace hit the disabled list. Their 43-7 (.860) record over their past 50 games is the best showing by any team over a 50-game stretch since the 1912 Giants.

But as incomprehensibly hot as the Dodgers have been over the past two months, one needn't carve up their season to find slivers of excellence. The totality of their accomplishment thus far places the Dodgers among the greatest teams in modern Major League history.

Only two teams since the arrival of the 20th century have won more than 114 regular-season games: the 1906 Cubs and the 2001 Mariners, both of which won 116. The Dodgers, despite going 10-12 to start the season, are on pace for 115 wins, and with the way they have been playing over the past two months, they have a very real chance to match or exceed 116.

OK, one might argue, they're hot … but they can't possibly be as good as their record.

On, no?

The Dodgers' winning percentage is .708. Their third-order winning percentage, which is derived from their expected runs scored and runs allowed based on the components of run scoring (hits, walks, steals, etc.), is .707. Their Pythagorean winning percentage is .689. If the Dodgers win 69 percent of their remaining 49 games, they will finish with 114 wins. If they hew closer to their third-order winning percentage, which is typically the better predictor of future performance, they'll win 115.

This is real. This is happening.

One needn't look forward for validation for the Dodgers, however. What they've done through their first 113 games already puts them in elite company. But let's scale it back to a historic mark two days ago: The Dodgers were just the third team since the end of World War II to win 79 or more of their first 111 decisions, joining the eventual 114-win 1998 Yankees (82-29) and the 116-win 2001 Mariners (80-31).

The 2017 Dodgers were also one of just 11 teams to win 79 or more of their first 111 decisions since 1900. Of those 11, only five reached that point with a better Pythagorean record than this year's Dodgers. Here's that list:

Year

Team

W

L

RS

RA

Pythag

1902

Pirates

83

28

612

333

.753

1944

Cardinals

82

29

604

315

.767

1998

Yankees

82

29

669

426

.696

1906

Cubs

80

31

503

298

.723

1929

Athletics

80

31

720

461

.6934

2017

Dodgers

79

32

569

365

.6926

Just 11 teams in Major League history have won 108 or more regular-season games. Here's how this year's Dodgers stacked up against those teams through 111 games.

Year

Team

W

L

Pct.

RS

RA

Pythag

TotW

1998

Yankees

82

29

0.739

669

426

.696

114

1906

Cubs

80

31

0.721

503

298

.723

116

1909

Pirates

80

31

0.721

507

333

.683

110

2001

Mariners

80

31

0.721

648

456

.655

116

2017

Dodgers

79

32

0.712

569

365

.693

TBD

1927

Yankees

78

33

0.703

711

437

.709

109

1954

Indians

78

33

0.703

542

383

.654

110

1969

Orioles

77

34

0.694

557

352

.698

109

1986

Mets

75

36

0.676

556

394

.653

108

1961

Yankees

74

37

0.667

594

446

.628

108

1975

Reds

73

38

0.658

558

390

.658

108

1970

Orioles

70

41

0.631

550

428

.613

108

Only four of those teams won more games through their first 111 decisions, and only four, a different four, had a better Pythagorean record through 111 decisions (the 1906 Cubs, '27 Yankees, '69 Orioles and '98 Yankees). Of the 11 teams with the most regular-season wins in history, only the 116-win '06 Cubs and 114-win '98 Yankees had both a better actual and Pythagorean record through 111 decisions than this year's Dodgers.

Only six teams in modern Major League history have posted a final winning percentage of .700 or better. The Dodgers could actually play below their current Pythagorean record, going 34-15 the rest of the way, and finish with 114 wins and a .704 winning percentage. To become just the sixth team to win 110 games, they need only go 30-19 (.607) over the remainder of the season, a winning percentage they have surpassed in each of the past three calendar months. However, if they finish the season at nearly the level they have sustained since the end of April (65-30, .765), they could win 39 more games and finish with a record 119 wins.

Yes. We're a week into August, and the Dodgers have a very real chance of winning 119 games.

Did I mention that 25 of the Dodgers' remaining 49 games are against the Padres (10), Giants (6), Phillies (4), Tigers (3) and White Sox (2)? They'll face the Phillies, Giants and Padres in 10 of their final 13 regular-season contests, six of those coming at home. Over their remaining 49 games, the weighted winning percentage of Dodgers' opponents is a mere .486, down from .497 through their games prior. The only catch is that 28 of those 49 games will come on the road, where the Dodgers have won at a "mere" .627 clip thus far this season, albeit with a .652 Pythagorean winning percentage. Even still, a .627 winning percentage over all 51 of those games would lead the Dodgers to a 111-win finish.

No matter how you slice it, nor how they fare in the postseason, the 2017 Dodgers are a team we are going to be talking about for a long time. Don't take for granted just how good they really are.

* * *
Cliff Corcoran is a Sports on Earth contributor and a regular guest analyst on the MLB Network. An editor or contributor to 13 books about baseball, including seven Baseball Prospectus annuals, he spent the last 10 seasons covering baseball for SI.com and has also written for USA Today and SB Nation, among others.