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30 Fantasy baseball thoughts from Week 18 of MLB action

The Royals owned the first half in steals, now it’s the Braves’ time.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Stolen bases (unlike home runs) are hard to find these days. Hopefully a handful of facts and thoughts will help you guiding your way down that path...

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles had a sizable increase year over year going from 36 steals last year April - July 31st (23rd in the MLB) to 57 steals through July of this year (10th most in MLB), the 13 point jump from 23rd to 10th is the 2nd most year over year.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox has 77 steals last year, 3rd in MLB, down to 54 this year, 12th in MLB.

New York Yankees: Mike Tauchman is 2-0 on steals with a 7.7 spd, top 23 in the league.

Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier was 3rd in May with seven steals behind Jarrod Dysons nine and Adalberto Mondesi’s 12.

Toronto Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio has eight steals in 54 games, only Oscar Mercado (nine steals in 62 games), Tim Locastro (nine steals in 59 games) and Terrance Gore (13 steals in 37 games) has eight or more steals in that 63 or fewer games.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox went from 73 steals through the end of July last year (4th in MLB) to 53 this year (13th in MLB).

Cleveland Indians: Jose Ramirez can say that his steals are for the good of the team. 17 of his steals are in team wins, a league leading stat.

Detroit Tigers: Niko Goodrum (who has the highest ultimate base running score on fangraphs), Jacoby Jones and Brandon Dixon are 23 for 27 on steals (85%). The remainder of the Detroit team is 18 for 26 (69%) on steal attempts.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals are the top team in steals this year but last year they were 13th! This is the third biggest YoY improvement from a team.

Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton has the highest MLB spd in the last 30 days (9.6)

AL West

Houston Astros: The only other team besides the Royals to have two players in the top ten in spd (Myles Straw and Derek Fisher)

Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani has nine stolen bases as DH. This is twice as many as the rest of the league’s DH combined. Ok so the “rest of the MLB’s” DH is really just Hunter Pence who has four. (per MLB.com)

Oakland Athletics: Marcus Semien is two for seven stealing at night while he is four for five stealing during day games.

Seattle Mariners: Mallex Smith has eight steals in the last 30 days, 2nd most in MLB.

Texas Rangers: Elvis Andrus had 18 SB pre- All-Star break but only has one SB in his last 60 AB.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: Ronald Acuna has 12 steals in the last 30 days. The next closest MLB player has only 66% of that.

Miami Marlins: The Marlins are one steal off from last April - end of June (28 last year, 29 this year) about as close as you can.

New York Mets: Amed Rosario has more steal attempts (17) then the next three closest Mets combined (16).

Philadelphia Phillies: JT Realmuto is tied with Yasmani Grandal, James McCann and Yadier Molina at four steals. The most by any catcher in MLB. I predicted Yasmani having a nice bump in his numbers, definitely didn’t see the James McCann one coming.

Washington Nationals: Victor Robles was caught stealing six times pre All-Star break, 2nd most in MLB. Since the All-Star break he has not been caught in his last five attempts.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs were 17th last year through July and are 27th this year, the biggest decrease in rankings in MLB.

Cincinnati Reds: Michael Lorenzen has three stolen bases. This matches the total of all pitchers in MLB combined.

Milwaukee Brewers: Christian Yelich trailed only Trea Turner in steals in June, with his eight steals falling one short of Tuners nine. I have expected more from Trea this year.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Kevin Newman is tied with Oscar Mercado, Nick Senzel and Tim Locastro in third place among rookie stolen bases. This group is behind Fernando Tatis and Victor Robles

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals were the 24th highest in steals from the start of the 2018 season until the end of July, this season they are 6th, the biggest increase year over year.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: Christian Walker leads 1B in steals this season with seven. Half of those have come in the last month as he has rebounded from his cold steak well and is hitting seven HR and a .470 SLG %.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies are the only team to be caught stealing 20+ times and have 40 or fewer successful stolen bases.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are way down year over year stealing almost half as many bases as they did last year and reverting down from the 3rd highest team in steals to the 25th highest team.

San Diego Padres: Wil Myers is 0/3 in steal attempt since the All-Star break.

San Francisco Giants: At 21st in the league in steals last year (41 steals) there wasn’t much room to decrease but the Giants did it severely going to 29th this year (28 steals).