bwhite and clack have suggested that a close enough approximation of men left on base should produce results we can draw some conclusions from, and that sounds good to me.
Final version of the approximation formula is
Appx LOB = (H + BB + HBP + CI + ROE - CS - DP - (2*TP) - Picked)
As far as I know, the only thing this doesn't consider is runners out on outfield assists after base hits.
Knowing that this got me within six for Houston, I went ahead and added up Milwaukee's men stranded, and the formula got me within two for the Brewers. So I'm pretty satisfied this is at least somewhat accurate.
All numbers are off Prospectus' site this morning, and I would imagine that would mean through Sunday night.
Teams are ranked by runs scored, so you can see that the top three teams in runs scored represent three of the top four in approximate left on base.
It seems that for most teams, the more runs, the more left on base. Only two teams stick out, really: The Rockies are near the bottom in runs scored, but near the top in left on, while Cincinnati is the opposite.
This one is ranked by left on, and I've added the ratios of left on to runs scored, and the ratio of left on per baserunner (as figured by H + BB + HBP + ROE + CI). I've used actual left on in the two cases where I had it.
The NL average for LOB/R is 1.64, and I'd guess you could then say that if your number is above that figure (like Houston's is), you've been wasting baserunners.
And I suppose you can say the same thing if your BR/LOB is above the league average of .562.
So, what might we say here?
1) and most importantly, it looks like lots of men left correlates pretty strongly with runs scored.
2) Teams really can leave too many runners, and it looks like Houston, despite their poor performance offensively, is doing just that. But St. Louis and Washington are both worse than we are.
3) It looks to me like the ratio of runs to runs scored is going to hover in the 1.50 - 1.60 range. If somebody is below that, I might guess that it's due simply to luck rather than some mysterious team efficiency. In other words, Cincinnati's been bad, but they could get worse, as their efficiency in converting baserunners into runs drifts back toward the mean.