MLB Standings Based on Runners Left on Base

Los Angeles Dodgers v St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

It's May and the MLB season is very much in full swing. Memorial Day marks the first milestone of the season, a time for teams to take a moment to reflect on the first quarter of the year and self-evaluate. Some teams, like the Tampa Bay Rays, have no notes and simply aim to continue on their current trajectory. Others, like the San Diego Padres, got off to very disappointing starts compared to expectations and need to begin the process of turning the ship around before it is too late.

Today we will try to glean some deeper insights into how every team is performing by breaking down who has left the most runners on base. This is not only a reflection of which squads struggle to take advantage when given the opportunity, but also which teams are generating the most of those opportunities. The sort of stat that could be interesting to look back on in a few months after a few teams make a run and a few others suddenly stumble.

Which teams have taken the most advantage of their opportunities? Which teams take care of business when they've got guys on the bags? Here are what the MLB standings would look like based on who has left the fewest runners on base in 2023 through May 23. P

MLB Standings Based on Runners Left on Base

American League

1. New York Yankees (287)

T-2. Kansas City Royals (303)

T-2. Texas Rangers (303)

4. Seattle Mariners (309)

5. Tampa Bay Rays (315)

T-6. Cleveland Guardians (317)

T-6. Houston Astros (317)

8. Boston Red Sox (318)

9. Baltimore Orioles (319)

10. Chicago White Sox (321)

11. Minnesota Twins (329)

12. Detroit Tigers (330)

13. Los Angeles Angels (335)

14. Oakland Athletics (348)

15. Toronto Blue Jays (364)

There obviously is not a direct correlation to the quality of the team vs. how many runners they leave aboard, as most strongly evidenced by the Kansas City Royals. They have the fifth-fewest hits in the league so it makes sense they have a low number of men left on. However, it's encouraging that they manage to capitalize when they do finally get on base, so there is that!

Toronto ... dunno what they're doing up there. It is not good to finish behind this year's A's in any statistic you can think of.

National League

1. Milwaukee Brewers (298)

2. Atlanta Braves (312)

3. Colorado Rockies (314)

4. Arizona Diamondbacks (319)

5. Miami Marlins (320)

6. Cincinnati Reds (322)

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (325)

8. San Diego Padres (327)

9. San Francisco Giants (329)

10. Washington Nationals (332)

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (333)

12. Philadelphia Phillies (338)

13. New York Mets (342)

14. St. Louis Cardinals (349)

15. Chicago Cubs (350)

The Brewers and Pirates stand out as an interesting example because they have the exact same record, tied for first in the NL Central, but Milwaukee obviously has been better about not leaving men on base compared to Pittsburgh. Will they regress? Will the Pirates? All we know for sure is that the Dodgers have been one of the best teams in baseball this year yet have left more men on base than all but seven other teams. That's probably worrying for everybody in their division.