What is LOB Baseball? – A Comprehensive Guide with Statistics in 2023

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Do you want to know what is Lob Baseball? The number of runners left on base can be looked at both as an individual stat and as a team stat. In the case of an individual batter, it means how many runners are still on base after that batter makes an out at the plate. 

This is because the batter did not do his job to score those runners or put himself in a position to score. It means how many runners are still on base at the end of an inning for a team or an individual pitcher.

From game to game, Lob Baseball can be a very important statistic. But the best teams usually know how to get runners home once they’ve reached base.

What is Left On Base (LOB) in Baseball? 

When the last out of the half inning is made and a runner is still on base, that runner is said to be “left on base” or “stranded.” For example, after a batter strikes out to end the top of the first inning, if there are still two men on base, there are still two runners on base.

Also, if a batter hits into a fielder’s choice and a baserunner is tagged or forced out for the last out, that runner is still considered to be on base.

This number is usually written in the final box score as a team number, but it can also be written as a player number. As an individual statistic, it shows how many runners the batter has left on base after the third and final out.

How is Lob Calculated In Baseball?

Compared to other advanced metrics, LOB% is pretty easy to figure out:

LOB = (H+BB+HBP-R)/(H+BB+HBP-(1.4*HR))

You can figure out a pitcher’s LOB% in just a few minutes if you have access to his basic baseball statistics. You will only need to find the following numbers to finish the calculation:

  • H = Hits
  • BB = Walks
  • HBP = Hit By Pitch
  • R = Runs
  • HR = Home Runs

Examples of LOB in Baseball

LOB in Baseball

The first batter of the game hits a double to start the game. With no outs and a runner in scoring position, things look good for the team on the road. But their team doesn’t catch the runner. The inning ends without any runs being scored, and the box score shows that the team has one Lob Baseball.

Another case is when a batter walks to first base. The next two batters are walked by the pitcher, so the bases are full and there are no outs. If none of these runners is caught and doesn’t score before the end of the inning, the team will have three runners still on base.

With two outs, there is a runner on first base. The runner on first base scores when the next batter hits a triple. The next player then hits a home run, and the inning ends when the next player strikes out. No one is on base for the team that just finished its turn at bat.

When the top of the fifth inning ends when a batter hits a fly ball to the centre fielder, the visiting team would still have two runners on base.

Let’s say there is only one out left and the bases are full, but the batter hits into a double play to end the inning. Since the runner on third base who crossed home plate is not counted as a run scored, the team would still have two runners on base.

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What Is A Good Lob In Baseball?

A baseball team’s LOB (bases left on) percentage should be between 70 and 75%. This means that the team leaves 30–35% of all runners on base by themselves.

There are a few things that can make the LOB percentage high or low. A lot depends on the pitcher, the defence, and how well the batters can get runners on base and drive them in.

A team with good pitching and defence will usually have a high LOB percentage. On the other hand, a lower percentage could mean that the batters are not getting runners on base as often or that when they do, they are not driving them in as often.

What Are Runners Left on Base?

In an MLB game, it’s common for runners to be left on base at the end of an inning. However, it’s not always clear what exactly counts as a runner being left on base.

Runners lob are runners who are on base at the end of an inning but aren’t forced or tagged out to end the inning. Each inning, the number of runners on base is added to a running total. The note about retired baserunners is important because it will affect how many runners lob.

For example, if there are runners on first and third base, but the runner on first is caught stealing at the end of the inning, only the runner on third base is considered to be left on base, and only one LOB is counted for that inning.

There are also double and triple plays to think about. If the bases are full and the inning ends with a double play, only two Lob Baseball games are recorded instead of three. Aside from these details, it’s pretty easy to figure out how many runs a runner has scored.

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Why Do Baseball / Softball Teams Care about LOB?

In baseball and softball, scoring runs is a key part of winning. One way to score runs besides hitting home runs is to hit and walk at the right time to move runners up the bases. A sacrifice fly or a ground can sometimes get a runner to home plate. These are good outs because they get rid of a runner on the bases.

How Lob is Used To Evaluating Teams?

LOB is the number of runners left on base at the end of an inning for a team. The total number of runners left on base at the end of each inning is a team’s LOB for the game. LOB is a slightly better way to judge an offence as a whole than as an individual player. This is because getting runners home and making sure they don’t stay on base is a team effort.

If a team’s LOB is high for a game, it means that the team did not score as many runs as it could have. When runners get on base, the offensive team’s goal is to get those runners home. If there are still a lot of runners on base, the team may not have reached its goal.
But a high Lob Baseball does not always mean that the team in question played badly. When a team gets more hits during a game, they are more likely to leave runners on base. Still, getting hits is good because a team needs hits to get runners home.

In other words, a team can have a high number of left on base and still win the game if they have driven in enough runs. So, just like there are no “good” or “bad” batters, there are no “good” or “bad” LOBs for teams.

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How Many Runners Get Left on Base in a Game?

As far as we know, there has always been at least one runner left on base in every major league game (other than no-hitters and perfect games). The number of runners left on base varies depending on a number of factors. Over the course of a season, though, they tend to even out.

During the 2019 Major League Baseball season, an average of 6.75 runners left on base (LOB) will be left on base by each team per game. It’s not unusual for at least one team to leave ten or more runners on base during a game.

Because of how left on base works and how it tends to even out over the course of a season, there isn’t much difference from game to game. In 2019, the Milwaukee Brewers averaged 7.28 LOB per game, which was the most in Major League Baseball. On the other end of the spectrum, the Toronto Blue Jays left 6.19 runners on base per game, which was the fewest of any team.

There is, however, a real reason for these numbers that go beyond random events. Most of the time, teams with a lot of runners left on base have a lot more runners, to begin with. These teams tend to have more offence overall, and they walk a lot in particular.

In 2019, the top ten teams that left the most runners on base averaged 825 runs, while the bottom ten teams averaged only 716 runs. This includes the New York Yankees, who led the league with 943 runs.

Why is LOB% Important?

If a pitcher’s strikeout rate is average for the league but he or she leaves runners on base more often than expected, it’s likely that pitcher will “come back to earth” soon. For example, if a pitcher has a low ERA but an unusually high LOB%, their ERA is likely to go up as their LOB% returns to normal.

As an example of how LOB% can be used to predict future performance, let’s look at what happened to a pitcher from 2017 to 2018. When the 2017 season started, Jon Lester had been one of the best pitchers in the game for ten years.

In 2017, Lester’s ERA was 4.33, which was very high. He was still striking out a lot of batters, almost one per inning, so this skill was just as good as it had been throughout his career. When you look at his 2017 stats, the LOB% stands out. Lester’s LOB% was just 68.7%, which was the second-worst score of his career.

Considering how few runners he was leaving behind, it would have made sense to think that Lester would bounce back in 2018, and that’s exactly what happened. In 2018, his LOB% went back up to 80.3%, and as a result, his ERA went down to 3.32.

This shows how much randomness and chance can affect a player’s performance, even over the course of a whole season.

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Records for Left on Base

  • Twenty runners have lobbed in a nine-inning game, which was set by the New York Yankees in a 13-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox on September 21, 1956.
  • The most runners lobbed in a game of any length is 27. This happened on May 4, 1973, when the Atlanta Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 in 20 innings.
  • The most runner lobs in a game are 45, which has been done twice. The first time was on September 11, 1974, when the St. Louis Cardinals (20) and the New York Mets (25) played a 25-inning game. Then, on June 6, 1991, the Texas Rangers (20) and the Kansas City Royals (25), in a game that went 18 innings, did it again.
  • The most people left on base after nine innings is 30, which has been done three times. First the New York Yankees (15) and the Chicago White Sox (15) on August 27, 1935, then the Washington Senators and the Los Angeles Angels on July 21, 1961, and finally the Miami Marlins (17) and the Washington Nationals (13) on July 8, 2018.
  • The 1941 St. Louis Browns, who went 70-84, set the record with 1,334 runners lobbed (8.5 per game).
  • In a season that wasn’t cut short, the 1957 Kansas City Athletics left 925 runners on base (6.0 per game) and went 59-94. In 2016, the San Diego Padres had the lowest number of runners left on base per game with 5.96 per game in a 68-94 season.

Does OBP Play a Role in LOB?

In the Major Leagues, OBP is a very important stat. If you want to be a good hitter with the bat, you need to know how to hit. When runners are already on base, you want to get on base to help your team score runs.

By making the defence play, you can make it more likely that a fielder’s choice will lead to an error, which will put runners on base for you.

What is the Difference Between LOB and RLSP?

During a game, LOB means “left on base” and RLSP means “runners left in scoring position.” These two baseball statistics tell a detailed story about what is going on during a game and if there is a reason why a team with a high LOB did not drive in enough runs.

For example, let’s say the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago White Sox are playing. Both teams left seven runners on base when they lost, but one team had more runners in scoring position than the other. The Blue Jays lost the game 3-1, even though they left five runners in scoring position, while the Chicago White Sox only left one.

At the end of an inning, the Blue Jays had at least five different runners on second or third base at some point. That means they had a chance to bring in these runners with a base hit, but they couldn’t add a clutch hit when they needed it most. On the surface, both teams still had seven runners on base, but the Blue Jays had the hardest time getting hits when they needed to.

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Is There Any Connection Between Winning Games and a Low LOB?

It’s not hard to figure out that a low LOB is linked to winning games. With two weeks left in the 2022 season, eight of the top 10 teams with the lowest LOB are not in the playoffs. This means that there is no link between winning games and having a low Lob Baseball.


In baseball and softball, LOB means that a runner was left on base. Runners can be left on base at first, second, or third. If runners are on base at the end of an inning but don’t score, they are added to the LOB. In 2021, teams left less than seven runners on base per game, on average.

LOB is a good baseball stat, but there are some other things to think about when using it. Runners are not out of the game for LOB purposes if they are caught stealing, put out, or caught in a double play. This means that teams and fans should also look at the ratio of runners left on base, double plays, putouts, and runners caught stealing to get a more accurate picture. Also, RLSP tells a more detailed story because it shows how many runners are in the scoring position. This is more important than whether a runner is left on first or second base.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lob Baseball 

What is a LOB in baseball?

The number of runners left on base can be looked at both as an individual stat and as a team stat. In the case of an individual batter, it means how many runners are still on base after that batter makes an out at the plate. This is because the batter did not do his job to score those runners or put himself in a position to score.

What is the Average LOB During a Game?

Baseball Reference says that in 2021, Major League Baseball teams left 6.7 runners on base during each game, on average. Even though the 2020 season was shorter, the average LOB was 6.6, while the average LOB for 2019 was 6.7.

How can LOB be a misleading metric?

LOB can be misleading because a runner who gets to the second base can be taken off the base paths in different ways.

Runners who are picked off or caught stealing, or who are out because of a double play or put out, do not count toward Lob Baseball. To be counted as a LOB, a runner must still be on the bases when the inning ends.

Is a LOB a hit in baseball?

LOB, which stands for “left on base,” is a statistic that shows how many runners are still on the bases when an inning ends. What’s going on? LOB tells the batter how many runners are still on base after he or she makes an out.

What is the average LOB in baseball?

How many LOB does the average game have? Baseball Reference says that in 2021, Major League Baseball teams left 6.7 runners on base during each game, on average. Even though the 2020 season was shorter, the average LOB was 6.6, while the average LOB for 2019 was 6.7.

What is a good lob%?

Most of the time, pitchers whose strikeout rates are above 73% are seen as lucky, while pitchers whose strikeout rates are below 73% are often seen as unlucky.

What is a lob shot?

A high shot sends the ball far and high over the net. The goal is to surprise the opponent or force him or her back to the baseline (offensive). It can also be used as a good defensive shot to buy time before an offensive shot.

Is a lob a throw?

A lob is when a tennis player hits the ball up and over the net. In the 14th century, a lob was a “lazy lout,” and in the 16th century, it was “a lumpish thing.”

How do you hit a good lob?

The knees are bent very far, and the weight of the body is on the back leg. When starting the shot, the player must push up off the back leg, turning the upper body toward the sky and sending the racket head to meet the ball on a flat and upward trajectory.

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