Chart: MLB Run Scoring Since 1946

I have only one short piece of commentary to add to this, but I’m a big enough baseball geek to just stare at this chart and think about the possibilities:

Here’s the one piece of commentary I’d like to offer: How far does the current trend in run scoring go? NL run scoring (the better barometer, since the DH changed AL run scoring substantially) is pointed in the direction toward the Deadball Era. Will it keep going and bottom out that low? We’ll see. Personally, I think it will if MLB doesn’t change the rules.

About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

One thought on “Chart: MLB Run Scoring Since 1946

  1. Great graph, EJ. I like datawrapper.

    What rule changes do you think MLB needs to change to reverse the trend? Are you thinking of things like a smaller K zone or rules altering reliever usage or eliminating extreme defensive shifts or lowering the mound?

    While any of those could change the run environment, I wonder if the biggest detriment to run scoring is related to the current emphasis on defense and pitching? It seems like every night there are some incredible defensive plays (usually not from the Yankees infield) that deflate rallies or a gas throwing starting pitcher or reliever who dominates batters.

    On the other hand, how is it that an OK at best pitcher like David Phelps averages around 9K’s/9? That rate formerly was the province of premium pitchers throughout the 40 or so years I’ve watched the game. Has average offensive talent eroded that much?

    Maybe this era is just another cyclical baseball trend that won’t change until the balls are goosed up again.