Clayton Kershaw had the lowest earned run average by far of any pitcher in 2014. He also had the highest Box-Toppers point total by far of any player in 2014.
In fact, Box-Toppers point totals tend to correlate well with ERA leaders—the top three ERA leaders in both leagues are among the top 10 overall players and the top 10 ERA leaders in both leagues are among the top 100 overall players.
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.
The chart below shows the top 10 ERA leaders in the American and National leagues, their Box-Toppers point total and overall rank for 2014.
Kershaw had the lowest ERA in 2014 of 1.77, the only pitcher below 2.00, beating the next-lowest ERA of 2.13 by 0.36. Kershaw also had the highest Box-Toppers point total of any player with 31.5, beating the second-highest total of 25.8 (Corey Kluber, Indians) by 5.7.
Kershaw’s dominance in both ERA and Box-Toppers rankings was reflected in the postseason awards. He was awarded both NL Cy Young and Most Valuable Player. He is one of only four pitchers in the past 30 years to win an MVP award.
Felix Hernandez of the Mariners led AL pitchers in ERA with 2.13. Hernandez finished second in AL Cy Young voting. He had 20.8 Box-Toppers points, third among AL pitchers.
AL Box-Toppers points leader and Cy Young winner Corey Kluber of the Indians finished third in AL ERA at 2.44. He had 25.8 Box-Toppers points, ranked second among all players.
There are three pitchers in the top 10 of Box-Toppers player rankings who did not finish in the top 10 in ERA in either league:
• Madison Bumgarner, Giants (ERA: 2.98), 22.6 Box-Toppers points, ranked third overall.
• David Price, Rays/Tigers (ERA: 3.59), 19.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked seventh overall.
• Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (ERA: 3.14), 16.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 10th overall.
How ERA leaders fared in Box-Toppers points
Here are earned run average leaders for the American League (left) and the National League (right) with their Box-Toppers point total (BTP) for the 2014 season and their rank in Box-Toppers points among all players (Rank).
|Rank||AL leaders||Team||Pos||ERA||BTP||Rank||NL leaders||Team||Pos||ERA||BTP||Rank|
|1||Felix Hernandez||Mariners||pi sp||2.13||20.8||6||Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||pi sp||1.77||31.5||1|
|2||Chris Sale||White Sox||pi sp||2.17||17.4||7||Johnny Cueto||Reds||pi sp||2.25||22.4||4|
|3||Corey Kluber||Indians||pi sp||2.44||25.8||2||Adam Wainwright||Cardinals||pi sp||2.38||18.7||8|
|4||Jon Lester||Red Sox/A’s||pi sp||2.46||16.4||12||Doug Fister||Nationals||pi sp||2.41||14.4||19|
|5||Garrett Richards||Angels||pi sp||2.61||15.7||13||Cole Hamels||Phillies||pi sp||2.46||12.4||31|
|6||Alex Cobb||Rays||pi sp||2.87||11.7||36||Henderson Alvarez||Marlins||pi sp||2.65||11.7||37|
|7||Dallas Keuchel||Astros||pi sp||2.93||12.4||32||Jordan Zimmermann||Nationals||pi sp||2.66||15.0||16|
|8||Sonny Gray||Athletics||pi sp||3.08||10.0||57||Zack Greinke||Dodgers||pi sp||2.71||16.5||11|
|9||Max Scherzer||Tigers||pi sp||3.15||22.1||5||Lance Lynn||Cardinals||pi sp||2.74||10.7||48|
|10||Yordano Ventura||Royals||pi sp||3.20||8.7||75||Alex Wood||Braves||pi sp||2.78||8.7||73|
More on how 2014 stat leaders fared in Box-Toppers points:
In 2014, batting average leaders had low Box-Toppers point totals. Why? They came from losing teams, did not hit for power and were not often integral in their team’s (few) wins.
Clayton Kershaw had a dominating lead among pitchers in earned run average and a dominating lead in Box-Toppers points. The top three pitchers in ERA in both leagues are among Box-Toppers’ top 10 overall players.
Most home run leaders in 2014 also ranked high among batters in Box-Toppers points.
Wins leaders—Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber—also led their leagues in Box-Toppers points. Also, pitchers like Kershaw and Kluber had more Box-Toppers points than wins, indicating their wins were more sincere and deserved than players whose wins outnumbered their Box-Toppers point total.
In general, more RBIs translate into more Box-Toppers points. But in specific cases, some players among RBI leaders—such as NL leader Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers—were not among Box-Toppers points leaders.
The top four pitchers who led each league in strikeouts were among the Box-Toppers’ top 10 players for 2014.