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The Indians offense has been good, but they leave way too many runners on base

The offense has been better than average at just about everything, but they're leaving so many runners on base.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians are having a rough June so far, after a very good May. The offense has managed to score more than 3 runs only twice in ten games since the calendar, after putting up 4 or more 18 times last month. They were 4th among all 30 MLB teams in runs per game in May; they are 4th worst so far in June. On the whole though, they have scored runs at an above average rate. Not dramatically above average, but enough to have them tied for 5th in the American League.

Their walk rate of 9.7% is the best in MLB. Their batting average is .255, which I know looks terrible to many baseball fans, but the collective batting average of the entire American League this season is .251. That's right, the Indians are better than average at getting hits. Their above average batting average and elite walk rate have combined to give them a team on-base percentage of .329, 3rd in the league. They haven't hit quite as many home runs as the average team, but they rank second in the AL in doubles, and have an above average slugging percentage. By wRC+, which takes OBP and SLG and makes adjustments for ballparks and such, the Indians are at 108, tied with the Tigers for 2nd in the AL, behind only Toronto, which has easily the best offense in the league this year.

To look at all this and argue the Indians have been a bad offensive team is illogical.

That said, I can't argue with anyone who has been feeling frustrated with the Tribe lineup. The reason I think they seem worse than they are (even if you're not one of those fans who can't accept that offense isn't what it was 5, 10, 20 years ago) is that they've left so many runners on base. They put a lot of guys on, but they've scored fewer runs than one would expect with that kind of on-base percentage.

Thus far this season, the Indians have left an average of 7.60 runners on base per game. (LOB figures come from That is the highest figure in MLB, and almost a full runner more than the MLB median.

It's even worse if you just focus at runners left in scoring position (meaning on second or third base). The Indians have left an average of 3.98 per game in scoring position, also the highest among all 30 teams, and the highest figure for any American League team since 2008.

Preseason projections still have more predictive value than the actual results from 60 games of a season, and the Indians are still only 4 games out of a postseason spot. There is no reason to give up on the Tribe at this stage, though I understand the temptation.