MLB Standings Based on Run Differential

Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

As the 2023 MLB season moves into June and inches closer to the All-Star Break it feels like a good time to see how every team is doing based on run differential. The idea behind the stat feels basic-- if your favorite team's run differential is positive, then they are winning games. If it is negative, they are losing games. The best teams boast the best ratios, and vice versa.

But how large the differentials are tells us a lot. It shows us who is truly dominant and who's W/L numbers may be a bit deceiving. It tells us how freaking bad some teams are and which teams have just been unlucky.

With all that in mind, here are what the standings would look like if they were based on run differential.

MLB Standings Based on Run Differential

American League

1) Texas Rangers (+149)

2) Tampa Bay Rays (+140)

3) Houston Astros (+58)

4) New York Yankees (+42)

5) Minnesota Twins (+36)

6) Toronto Blue Jays (+29)

7) Baltimore Orioles (+25)

8) Los Angeles Angels (+13)

9) Boston Red Sox (+1)

10) Seattle Mariners (-2)

11) Cleveland Guardians (-21)

12) Chicago White Sox (-47)

13) Detroit Tigers (-76)

14) Kansas City Royals (-89)

15) Oakland Athletics (-197)

Once again, the A's astound with their horrific numbers as owner John Fisher continues to put on a sham of a baseball season to try to force a move to Las Vegas. What a loser. Other notable aspects of sorting by run differential: the fact that every AL East team has a positive differential, the Rangers kicking the crap out of their opponents but having seven fewer wins than the Rays, and the Guardians playing a lot worse than their record would suggest.

Now the other side, which boasts far fewer big numbers.

National League

1) Atlanta Braves (+71)

2) Los Angeles Dodgers (+57)

3) Arizona Diamondbacks (+33)

4) San Diego Padres (+19)

5) San Francisco Giants (+9)

6) Pittsburgh Pirates (+5)

7) St. Louis Cardinals (+4)

8) Chicago Cubs (-7)

9) Milwaukee Brewers (-18)

10) Miami Marlins (-25)

11) New York Mets (-26)

12) Philadelphia Phillies (-28)

13) Cincinnati Reds (-39)

14) Washington Nationals (-47)

15) Colorado Rockies (-69) (Nice)

A lot more balance in the NL, it would seem. Interesting that the Rockies have the worst run differential but the Nationals boast the worst record. Meanwhile it seems like the sky is falling for a team like the Cubs and they sit nine games under .500 yet their run differential suggests they should be a bit better-- or that, at the very least, things are not as bad as they seem. A special shoutout to the Cardinals, who hold a positive run differential yet are 10 games below .500.

Run/score differential in sports can be awfully weird, and it's no different for baseball. Intruiging results nevertheless.