In 2023, the Miami Marlins from the NL East led in double plays, having 159 over the season.
In baseball, a “double play” means two players get out in one move. To make a double play, you need at least one player on a base and fewer than two outs.
According to MLB’s Rule 9.11, a double play happens when a batter hits the ball on the ground, which is termed as “grounded into a double play” or GIDP.
Here’s a simple example: A player hits the ball on the ground. An infielder gets the ball and quickly throws it to the second base, getting the runner from the first base out.
Then, the ball is thrown to the first base to get the batter out. This type is the most seen and is named a “force double play.” There are also other kinds like when the batter hits the ball in the air or when he’s struck out.
Top Teams with the Most Double Plays Hits in 2023
In 2023, the Miami Marlins led the pack with the highest number of double plays at 159. They were closely trailed by the Brewers who registered 144 and the Padres with 134, securing the second and third positions respectively.
The ten baseball teams that recorded the highest number of double plays during the 2023 season are:
- Miami Marlins: 159.
- Milwaukee Brewers: 144.
- San Diego Padres: 134.
- Toronto Blue Jays: 129.
- Atlanta Braves: 128.
- Oakland Athletics: 125.
- Both Houston Astros: 124.
- Colorado Rockies: 124.
- St. Louis Cardinals: 122.
- Chicago White Sox: 122.
1. Miami Marlins: 159
In 2023, Miami topped the list for most Ground Into Double Plays during the regular season. With a season record of 84 wins and 78 losses, the Marlins ranked third in the NL East.
This year, they secured the fifth position in the National League playoffs, marking their first entry since 2020.
Their team combines both young talent and seasoned players who are notably good in fielding. To make a double play, players need sharp reactions and swift decision-making.
Sadly, their journey ended quickly in the Wild Card series, where the Phillies beat them in two consecutive games.
2. Milwaukee Brewers: 144
The Brewers wrapped up the season with the second-highest number of double plays. They clinched the top spot in the National League Central Division, boasting a 92-70 record.
A major factor in their success was their fielding. It let them get outs swiftly and kept their opponents from scoring.
Their pitching was top-notch, too. Out of all thirty teams, they had the lowest ERA during the regular season.
Furthermore, they led the league with a batting average against (BAA) of just .226. However, the Arizona Diamondbacks knocked them out in the Wild Card Series. This marks their fourth straight year without a postseason round victory.
3. San Diego Padres: 134
The Padres showcased an impressive ERA of 3.73, ranking them second in the league, and their BAA stood at .236, placing them fourth.
Throughout the season, they managed to achieve 134 double plays, marking them third-best in the MLB.
In the recent season, they posted a record of 82 wins and 80 losses. This had them settle at third place in the NL West Division, missing out on the MLB playoffs. The previous year, they reached the NLCS but lost to the Phillies in five matches.
Their team’s average age is 29.5, highlighting a relatively youthful group. This youthfulness has been a factor in their strong on-field performance.
4. Toronto Blue Jays: 129
The Blue Jays had a final score of 89-73 at the end of the regular season. They secured the sixth position in the American League for the playoffs. During the 2023 MLB season, the team had 129 GIDPs.
This marked their third time in the playoffs in the past four years. It’s also their tenth time in their 47-year history. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Twins beat them in two matches during the Wild Card Series.
Even though they didn’t move on in the playoffs, the Blue Jays showed impressive fielding skills in the regular matches. Matt Chapman, Bo Bichhete, and Brandon Belt stood out as top defensive players for the team.
5. Atlanta Braves: 128
In 2023, the Braves topped the Major League Baseball by finishing the regular season with a record of 104-58. During these matches, they ranked among the top five teams for grounding into double plays.
With Ronald Acuna Jr. leading the way, the Braves are recognized as one of the strongest fielding teams in the MLB. As the top team in the NL, they moved straight into the National League Division Series.
Moreover, they broke records this season for team home runs and team slugging percentage. As of October 8, in the five-game NLDS, the Braves trail the Phillies by 0-1.
6. Oakland Athletics: 125
The Oakland team ended up at the bottom of the league standings, securing only fifty victories all year. However, they stood out in executing double plays.
Even though they progressed past the regular season for three years in a row, the A’s haven’t reached the MLB playoffs in the last three years. Their start, spanning fifty-five games, was the poorest ever in major league history.
In the latter part of the league, the A’s performed better. Still, they became the first squad after the 2018 Orioles and 2019 Tigers to suffer over 111 losses in a season.
7. Houston Astros: 124
In 2023, the Astros were the reigning champions of the AL, AL West, and the World Series. They ended the season with a solid 90-72 record, leading their division.
During the season, the Houston team made 124 double plays, ranking seventh in the MLB. Their skills in pitching and fielding are among the top in the league.
Being the second-ranked team in the American League, the Astros moved straight to the Division Series. Here, they’re set to compete against the Minnesota Twins.
8. Colorado Rockies: 124
In 2023, the Rockies had a tough season, finishing with the National League’s lowest record of 59 wins and 103 losses. It was the first time the team had lost more than a hundred games in its history.
On the brighter side, they were impressive in completing double plays during the season, with a total of 124.
Yet, they didn’t make it to the MLB playoffs, marking their fifth consecutive year without a playoff appearance.
Despite the team’s fielders making many double plays to assist the pitchers, their pitching performance was not up to par. They had the worst earned run average (ERA) of 5.67.
9. St. Louis Cardinals: 122
The Cardinals ended up last in the National League Central Division this year with a 71-91 score. Even though they reached the playoffs for the past four years, they missed out this time.
It’s the team’s first losing season since 2007 and only the second one since 1999. Notably, St. Louis hasn’t ranked last in their division since 1990, making this year a tough one for them.
However, on a positive note, the Cardinals excelled in executing double plays. They accomplished 122 GDIPs during the 2023 major league season.
10. Chicago White Sox: 122
The White Sox finished the season with a 61-101 tally, placing them fourth in the AL Central Division. This marks the second year in a row they’ve not progressed beyond the regular games.
Yet, during all 162 games, they stood out as one of the top fielding teams. Their squad’s average age is 28.1, boasting young players who are swift on the field.
This agility allowed them to achieve 122 double plays, ranking them tenth in the league.
Highest Number of Double Plays Turned in a Single Game
In Major League Baseball, the most double plays made by a team in one game is seven. Three teams have managed to achieve this: the Cubs, the Astros, and the Yankees.
Out of these, only the Astros have made all seven double plays as ground-into-double-plays, or GIDPs. The first time this record was set was by the Yankees in 1942 when they defeated the Oakland Athletics with a score of 11-2.
In a match on May 4, 1969, the Astros tied this record during their 3-1 victory against the Giants. This was notable as it was the first time a team grounded into seven double plays in one game.
Lastly, the Cubs reached this landmark in 2018. They played against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 17 and won 1-0. In this match, the Cubs had six GIDPs out of the seven double plays they made.
Highest Number of Double Plays Turned in a Single Season
The Oakland Athletics set a record in the Major League Baseball with 217 double plays in the 1949 season. Back then, they were called the Philadelphia Athletics. That year, they had 81 wins and 73 losses, ranking fifth out of eight teams in the American League.
Even with more teams now, from 16 to 30, and more games, from 154 to 162, this record stands strong 74 years later. Only ten teams have ever managed more than 200 double plays in one season.