Orioles' Cruz, Royals' Holland top players in pair of opening ALDS games for Thursday, Oct. 2

Nelson Cruz led the Orioles offense to a Game 1 win in the American League Division Series win over the Tigers and is Thursday’s Player of the Day.

Cruz homered and went 2-for-3, scoring twice and driving in three runs, in the 12-3 win over the Tigers to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Cruz had the Orioles’ high Box-Toppers game score of +3.

During the regular season, Cruz earned 8.5 Box-Toppers points, 77th among all players and sixth among AL batters.

Max Scherzer, Box-Toppers' fifth-ranked player this season, started the game for the Tigers and picked up the loss. Scherzer (7.1 IP 7H 5R 6K) had a Box-Toppers game score of -4.9. He has 22.1 Box-Toppers points on the season, ranked second among AL pitchers.

Royals pitcher Greg Holland is Player of the Game in the other AL Division Series Game 1. Holland closed out the Angels in the bottom of the 11th, pitching one scoreless inning, striking out two and earning the save, in the 3-2 win over the Angels. The Royals take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Holland had the Royals’ high Box-Toppers game score of +3. While both of Thursday’s Players of the Game had Box-Toppers game scores of +3, Cruz edged out Holland as overall Player of the Day because in a tie-breaker, batters beat pitchers when Box-Toppers game scores are tied.

Holland earned 7.0 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, 106th among all players, 37th among all AL pitchers and fourth among AL closing pitchers.


Coming Friday:

American League Division Series Game 2, Orioles lead Tigers, 1-0

The pitching matchup Friday:

Tigers: Justin Verlander, 4.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 237th among all players, 68th among AL pitchers.

Orioles: Wei-Yen Chen, 6.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 131st among all players, 50th among AL pitchers.


National League Division Series Game 1, Giants at Nationals

The Nationals have an edge in Box-Toppers team rankings. Nationals players have accumulated 115.5 Box-Toppers points this season, ranking fourth among all teams. The Giants rank eighth with 110.8 points. The Nationals also had the hottest final 10 days of the season of any team, picking up 11.5 Box-Toppers points over that period. The Giants picked up 4.5 during the same period.

The pitching matchup Friday:

Giants: Jake Peavy, 5.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 165th among all players, 58th among NL pitchers.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, 16.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 10th among all players, fifth among NL pitchers.


National League Division Series Game 1, Cardinals at Dodgers

The Dodgers have the edge in Box-Toppers team rankings. Dodgers players have accumulated 123.2 Box-Toppers points this season, second among all teams and first among NL teams. The Cardinals have 114.8 Box-Toppers points, ranked fifth among all teams

The pitching match up Friday:

Cardinals: Adam Wainwright, 18.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked eighth among all players, fourth among NL pitchers.

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, 31.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked first among all players.


American League Division Series Game 2, Royals lead the Angels, 1-0

The pitching match up Friday:

Royals: Yordano Ventura, 8.7 Box-Toppers points, rank 75th among all players, 33rd among AL pitchers.

Angels: Matt Shoemaker, 11.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 38th among all players, 22nd among AL pitchers.

Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

Top player from each game

Players of the Game (POG) listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score

1002 Score Team Player of the Game AB R H BI BB K IP H R ER BB K
POG 3.0 Orioles Nelson Cruz DH 4 2 2 3 0 2 - - - - - -
POG 3.0 Royals Greg Holland (S, 1) - - - - - - 1.0 0 0 0 0 2