The Chicago Cubs improved to 24-6 with Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals in 13 innings, becoming the first team since the 1984 Detroit Tigers (26-4) to win 24 or more of its first 30 games in a season, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Only the 10th team in MLB history to start 24-6 or better, the Cubs boast an astounding plus-102 run differential, leading all of the majors in both runs scored (184) and allowed (82).

They already have a commanding lead in the National League Central, sitting 7.5 games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates (17-14) and nine clear of the St. Louis Cardinals (16-16).

The Pirates qualified for the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, and the Cardinals are hoping to add to a streak of five straight years.

It seems likely that both teams will need to gain entrance via the wild-card spots, as the Cubs appear destined to win 100 or more games.

Viewed as one of the World Series favorites before the season, Chicago has no real weakness to speak of, though another relief pitcher certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Granted, that’s merely nitpicking, as the Cubs bullpen enters Monday ranked seventh in the majors with a cumulative 2.99 ERA, led by closer Hector Rondon (six saves, 0.79 ERA) and setup man Pedro Strop (seven holds, 2.03 ERA).

Read more MLB news on