How Much Has Offense Increased After New MLB Rules? The Results May Surprise You

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MLB implemented a number of substantial rule changes for the 2023 season. Most famous was the new pitch clock, designed to speed up games.

But the league also banned excessive shifting, meaning teams have to put two infielders on either side of second base.

MLB also brought in new, significantly larger bases, which they said would increase player safety and lead to more stolen base attempts.

All of these changes were supposed to, in theory, lead to a faster, more action-oriented and ultimately enjoyable product.

So through a few weeks, is it working?

Well MLB certainly thinks it is, and they released some updated data supporting that assertion.

According to the league’s Twitter account, the average nine inning game is taking 30 minutes less time than it did in 2022. From a whopping 3:07 down to 2:37.

But perhaps equally important is that batting average has risen dramatically, as has runs per game and stolen base attempts.

Rob Manfred has to be thrilled with those numbers.

Runs per game are up nearly 18%, with batting average up 20%. That’s a sizable jump in just one year.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to the media after Owners Meetings at MLB Headquarters on Thursday, November 17, 2022 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

MLB Changes Having an Impact

Any baseball fan watching the start of the season would agree that games have felt noticeably faster.

In fact, they’re moving so quickly that some teams have extended beer sales to increase revenue lost from shorter times.


But it’s not just about the games moving more quickly, MLB wanted to increase the action in each game.

Increasing runs, stolen bases and batting average on balls in play was paramount. And so far, it’s working.

Anecdotally, there’s significantly less dead time in most games. Balls are being put in play, and more of them are turning into hits because of the forced positioning.

Purists were generally not happy with MLB altering the game so dramatically. But it’s hard to argue with results.

Now the big question is whether or not this will actually bring new fans into the sport. MLB will have to wait a lot longer than two weeks to get the data on that.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC


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  1. An increase in league-wide batting averages from .230 to .250 is not a ‘20% increase.’

    .250 – .230 = .02

    .02 is two percent.

    Even measured as a proportion .02/.230 = .087 or an 8.7% increase from the previous baseline.

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