David Pinto posted on his invaluable Baseball Musings site that an important aspect to the Red Sox leading the American League in runs, OBP and Slugging is their baserunning. They have stolen 115 bases, but have the fewest caught stealing in the league, 19.
“They are one of the most prepared, well coached teams in the game,” says one AL manager. “No one thought much about outlawing the third-first fake throw, but it has taken fear out of good baserunners and the Red Sox have taken advantage of the lack of deception, as the deception created hesitancy in a lot of runners. John Farrell obviously figured this out before the season, ahead of everyone else. Wait until they get rid of the inside move to second base. There is going to be a lot more speed in the game.”
For the record, the steals per game are down from last year, but watching Billy Hamilton, Quintin Berry and the Red Sox lends credence to the idea that the change in pickoff motion rules are opening the game up for base stealers.