Royals' Moustakas tops players for Thursday, Sept. 24; Kershaw's chances to pass Arrieta for Box-Toppers lead diminish

Mike Moustakas of the Royals is Thursday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Also Thursday, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw did not earn Player of the Game honors in his start, greatly reducing the chances that he will take the Box-Toppers point lead this season and further solidifying Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s chances that he will end the season as leader.

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2015 season as of Sept. 24.  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Arrieta, Jake 2738 pi sp chi nl 25.1
2 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 22.7
3 Price, David 2593 pi sp tor al 21.1
4 deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 20.4
5 Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp hou al 20.4
6 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp lad nl 19.7
7 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 19.4
8 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp pit nl 18.0
9 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp chi al 17.1
10 Bumgarner, Madison 2753 pi sp sf nl 17.0
What are those numbers after players' names?

Player of the Day—Moustakas homered, doubled and went 3-for-3, scoring three times and driving in two runs, in the 10-4 win over the Mariners.

National League Player of the Day—Stephen Piscotty of the Cardinals homered and went 3-for-4, driving in four runs, in the 7-3 win over the Brewers.

American League and National League Batters of the Day—There are no separate AL and NL Batters of the Day for Thursday because both the overall Player of the Day and the NL Player of the Day were batters—Mike Moustakas and Stephen Piscotty.

Notable—Mets closing pitcher Jeurys Familia has the highest Box-Toppers point total of any of the 12 who earned Player of the Game honors Thursday. Familia (1IP 0H 0R K Sv in the 6-4 win over the Reds) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 8.0 for the season. He ranks 81st among all players, 27th among NL pitchers and second among NL closers, behind Aroldis Champman of the Reds (8.0 points).

Kershaw, Arrieta and the Box-Toppers points lead—While Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers won his game, he did not earn Player of the Game honors. Kershaw (5IP 6H 3R 9K W in the 6-3 win over the Diamondbacks) had a Box-Toppers game score of +1. Player of the Game was Chris Heisey (1-3 R 4BI) with a Box-Toppers game score of +3.

Kershaw’s chances to repeat as Box-Toppers points leaders and his chances to repeat as leader among NL pitchers for the fifth straight season now seem to be greatly diminished. With 10 days left in the season, Kershaw probably will not make more than one more start and he already trails overall Box-Toppers points leader, Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta (25.1), by 2.4 points. If Kershaw makes one more start, the most he can earn is 2.0 points, giving him 24.7, short of Arrieta’s total.

But if Kershaw does make two more starts—or even two more appearances this season—he may have a chance, but would have to earn at least Player of the Game honors in both games. However, if Arrieta earns overall Player of the Day honors in his start Sunday, he would probably wrap up Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors, barring any miracle by another player.

The only other player who has a realistic chance of catching or passing Arrieta is Blue Jays pitcher David Price. Price has 21.1 Box-Toppers points, third place among all players and trails Arrieta by 4.0 Box-Toppers points. Price likely has two starts remaining, the first of which is Saturday. Price would have to earn overall Player of the Day honors in both starts, earning 2.0 Box-Toppers points each time, to give him 25.1 Box-Toppers points, the same total Arrieta currently has. Price would win the tiebreaker over Arrieta because he had more Box-Toppers points in 2014—19.1 vs. 14.7. But again, if Arrieta even earns Player of the Game honors in a start, Price would have no realistic shot of catching him.

Rankings—Two other pitchers in Box-Toppers top 10 season player rankings started Thursday, but neither earned Player of the Game honors:

  • Chris Sale of the White Sox (7IP 7H 3R 8K L in the 3-2 loss to the Yankees) had a Box-Toppers game score of +1. Player of the Game was Carlos Beltran of the Yankees (2-4 R 3BI, Box-Toppers game score +2). Sale is ranked ninth in Box-Toppers player rankings, fourth among AL pitchers, with 17.1 points.
  • Madison Bumgarner of the Giants (7IP 3H 3R 9K ND in the 5-4 loss to the Padres) had a Box-Toppers game score of +4. Player of the Game was Derek Norris of the Padres (3-4 R 3BI, Box-Toppers game score of +3). (Bumgarner had a higher Box-Toppers game score than Norris, but Norris earned Player of the Game because he had the highest score on the Padres—the team that won the game.) Bumgarner is ranked 10th in Box-Toppers player rankings, sixth among NL pitchers, with 17.0 points.

Scoring—Moustakas earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Piscotty earns 1.7 Box-Toppers points for being NL Player of the Day. All of Thursday’s other Players of the Game (listed in the chart below) earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point.

About Box-Toppers—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

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score

9/24 Score Team Player AB R H BI BB K IP H R ER BB K
MLB 6.0 Royals Mike Moustakas, 3B 3 3 3 3 2 0 - - - - - -
5.0 Rays Erasmo Ramirez (W,11-6) - - - - - - 7.0 4 2 2 0 6
NL 4.0 Cardinals Stephen Piscotty, 1B-LF 4 1 3 4 0 1 - - - - - -
3.1 `Marlins Chris Narveson - - - - - - 1.1 0 0 0 0 2
3.0 Padres Derek Norris, C 4 1 3 3 0 1 - - - - - -
3.0 Dodgers Chris Heisey, CF-RF 3 1 1 4 0 1 - - - - - -
3.0 Pirates Mark Melancon (S,50) - - - - - - 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
2.0 Rangers Delino DeShields, CF 5 2 3 2 0 0 - - - - - -
2.0 Yankees Carlos Beltran, RF 4 1 2 3 0 1 - - - - - -
2.0 Orioles Matt Wieters, C 4 2 2 2 0 0 - - - - - -
2.0 Indians Carlos Santana, DH 3 1 1 3 2 0 - - - - - -
2.0 Mets Jeurys Familia (S,42) - - - - - - 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
`Denotes that the pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.