MLB Standings Based on Stolen Base Percentage

Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

One of the many ripple effects of the new rules instituted by Major League Baseball for the 2023 season is a significant uptick in stolen bases. The pitch clock gives baserunners an extremely easy way to time their jumps, especially early in the season as everybody on the mound adjusts to the timer. It is a pretty big strategic advantage, but the playing field is level. How much of an advantage it is for each team depends on how big they're willing to make it.

In an effort to create a reflection of which teams are best at exploiting the new reality of baseball, what if the standings were organized by stolen base percentage, AKA how successful each team is at swiping bags? The results may surprise you. Probably not. But they might! And if not, it's an interesting thought exercise.

MLB Standings Based Off Stolen Base Percentage

American League:

1. Chicago White Sox (92.6 percent)

2. Boston Red Sox (87.1 percent)

3. Cleveland Guarians (86 percent)

4. Kansas City Royals (83.8 percent)

5. Baltimore Orioles (83.7 percent)

6. Toronto Blue Jays (82.9 percent)

7. Oakland Athletics (80.8 percent)

8. Tampa Bay Rays (77 percent)

9. Houston Astros (76.5 percent)

10. Texas Rangers (76.3 percent)

11. New York Yankees (74.5 percent)

12. Detroit Tigers (74.2 percent)

13. Minnestoa Twins (72.7 percent)

14. Seattle Mariners (69.4 percent)

15. Los Angeles Angels (69.2 percent)

Something about the Sox, man. Lord knows the Royals wish games were won and lost based on how many steals they could produce. Ranking fourth here while sitting at 14-31 on the season. At least they can do something right.

National League:

1. St. Louis Cardinals (86.1 percent)

2. Atlanta Braves (85.7 percent)

3. Arizona Diamondbacks (82.9 percent)

4. New York Mets (82.4 percent)

5. Milwaukee Brewers (81 percent)

6. Miami Marlins (79.5 percent)

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (79.4 percent)

8. San Diego Padres (78.8 percent)

9. Philadelphia Phillies (78.4 percent)

10. Chicago Cubs (75.5 percent)

11. Washington Nationals (75 percent)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (74.6 percent)

13. San Francisco Giants (74.2 percent)

14. Colorado Rockies (73.7 percent)

15. Cincinnati Reds (70.4 percent)

Apparently there's a lot wrong with the Cincinnati Reds, huh? One of the few placements here that correlates with the real-life standings.

A few interesting takeaways otherwise. Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses because an extra base here and there may not make a difference over 162 games but could be the difference in a postseason game.