May 14, 2024 - Sports

MLB umps aren't as bad as you think

A scatterplot with baseballs as the points showing the season averages of MLB umpires’ accuracy in calling balls and strikes from 2015 to 2024. The data shows an upward trend, with approximately 90% accuracy in 2015 and nearly 94% in 2024.
Data: UmpScorecards; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Surprising news, Reds and Guardians fans: Major League Baseball umpires are doing pretty well this season, at least when it comes to calling balls and strikes.

By the numbers: League-wide, umps have a nearly 94% accuracy rating so far in 2024, per unofficial metric-keeper UmpScorecards.

  • That's down from 2023, but up from a relatively miserable 90% in 2015.

Must be nice: The Guardians have benefited more from missed ball/strike calls than any other MLB team this season, while Cincinnati is right around the middle.

Zoom in: Three umps with Ohio ties have worked in MLB games this season, and all are in the middle of the pack regarding accuracy.

  • Brian O'Nora, from the Youngstown area, is best with a 93.4% accuracy rate.
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