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The best baserunning team is ... the Mets

In this age of statistical analysis, one aspect of the game that still gets overlooked is baserunning. It's a much less important part of the game than hitting or pitching or defense -- but not insignificant.

Mark Simon has a good post on the Mets' baserunning -- the best in the majors by a wide margin. The Mets don't seem like a fast team on paper and their 68 steals entering Wednesday rank just fifth in the NL, but successfully running the bases includes things like going first to third on a single or avoiding outs on the bases. The Mets have a sizable advantage over the No. 2 team, the Royals, in UBR (from FanGraphs.com).

The top five and bottom five baserunning teams according to UBR:

1. Mets, +15.4 runs better than average

2. Royals, +8.9

3. Indians, +8.0

4. Pirates, +7.6

5. Rockies, _+7.0

5. Giants, +7.0

26. Braves, -8.0

27. Dodgers, -8.7

28. White Sox, -8.9

29. Mariners, -9.1

30. Rangers, -9.3

By the way, here are the top five and bottom five individuals:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: +9.5 runs

2. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays: +8.6

3. Elvis Andrus, Rangers: +7.4 (how bad are the rest of the Rangers?!?)

4. Starling Marte, Pirates: +6.6

5. Mike Trout, Angels: +6.3

1. Paul Konerko, White Sox: -5.9 runs

2. Allen Craig, Cardinals: -5.5

3. Victor Martinez, Tigers: -5.5

4. Todd Helton, Rockies: -4.5

5. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers: -4.1