St. Louis Cardinals are stealing bases, not scoring runs
If the St. Louis Cardinals stay aggressive on the bases, the runs (and wins) should start piling up as we approach the summer portion of the season.
The St. Louis Cardinals are playing slightly above .500 baseball at this point in the season. 31 games into the 2022 campaign, one thing is clear: the Redbirds want to run. After swiping 89 bases (0.55 per game) in 2021, the Cards have stolen 27 bases in their 31 games in 2022 (0.87 per game).
Usually there are two reasons a team would want to steal so frequently. First, your roster has the speed to do so. If a roster is loaded with speedsters, they might as well try to get into an easier scoring position whenever possible. Second, you want to put pressure on the opponent’s defense. Having runners in scoring position completely changes how a team will play defense, which could lead to better situations depending on who is hitting in any given at-bat.
The Cardinals have been swiping bases left, right, and center this season, but that has not translated into more wins for the club. Although St. Louis has been nearly twice as aggressive on the bases, the team is only scoring 0.03 more runs per game than last season. The runners are getting into scoring position more than ever, but they are not being driven in once they steal.
The Cardinals rank first in the NL in stolen bases and second in fewest times caught stealing. On top of this, they have two players, Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader, tied atop the NL steals leaderboard with seven.
All of those numbers indicate that the Cardinals should be scoring more runs and winning more games, but it has not translated as of yet. If they stay aggressive on the bases and continue to steal at a high rate, the wins should start piling up as we approach the summer portion of the season.