Open main menu

In baseball, run differential is a cumulative team statistic that combines offensive and defensive scoring. Run differential is calculated by subtracting runs allowed from runs scored. The run differential is positive if a team scores more runs than it allows, while it is negative if a team allows more runs than it scores.

Run differential can be used to predict the expected win total for a team, via a formula devised by Bill James, the Pythagorean expectation.


The best run differential in an MLB season is +411, set by the 1939 New York Yankees, who scored 967 runs and allowed 556 runs.[1] The worst run differential was by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders at -723 (529 runs scored, 1252 runs allowed).[2] The highest run differential in a single game in major league history is 29, when the Chicago Colts (now the Cubs) beat the Louisville Colonels 36–7 on June 29, 1897,[3] and the record in baseball's modern era (since 1900) is 27, when the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 30–3 on August 22, 2007.[4][5] The biggest run differential in a shutout is 22, when the Cleveland Indians defeated the New York Yankees 22–0 on August 31, 2004.[6][7]


  1. ^ "The Chicago Cubs are putting together the most dominant season in MLB history". Fox Sports. June 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Jazayerli, Rany (November 3, 2015). "The BP Wayback Machine: Dayton Moore's First Week".
  3. ^ "Events of Tuesday, June 29, 1897". Retrosheet. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  4. ^ Mintz, Jake (August 1, 2018). "These games were the most one-sided matchups in MLB history".
  5. ^ "Texas Rangers 30, Baltimore Orioles 3 (1)". Retrosheet. August 22, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  6. ^ "5 Biggest Winning Margins In MLB History". July 18, 2014 – via Excite.
  7. ^ "Cleveland Indians 22, New York Yankees 0". Retrosheet. August 31, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit