Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw tops players for Monday, April 4, moves into 12th in Box-Toppers' 'all-time' rankings

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is Monday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Kershaw struck out nine over seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit, in the 15-0 win over the Padres.

Kershaw receives 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and takes the lead in Box-Toppers player rankings after the second day of the season. He passes Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano, who was Sunday’s Player of the Day. While both players have 2.0 Box-Toppers points on the season, Kershaw ranks ahead on a tiebreaker because he had more Box-Toppers points in 2015—25.7 vs. 14.9.

Kershaw’s 25.7 points ranked second among all players in 2015 (behind Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s 29.1). Kershaw led all National League pitchers in points from 2011 to 2014. He led all players in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

In addition, Kershaw passes John Smoltz to move into 12th place in career Box-Toppers player rankings since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. Kershaw now has 161.3 career Box-Toppers points, passing Smoltz’s 160.9 points. Kershaw trails 11th place player, Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (162.7).

American League Player of the Day—Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels struck out eight over seven innings, allowing two runs and four hits, in the 3-2 win over the Mariners. Hamels ranked eighth among AL pitchers in 2015 with 15.4 Box-Toppers points.

Hamels also has now earned at least 1.0 Box-Toppers point for 11 straight seasons. He earned his first points in 2006 with the Phillies and in each of his 10 previous seasons, has earned at least 10.0 Box-Toppers points per season. He has 127.9 career Box-Toppers points, which ranks 30th among all players since 1995 (when Box-Toppers tracking began). It ranks third among active AL pitchers, behind CC Sabathia of the Yankees (179.0) and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (162.7). His best season was 2011 with the Phillies, when he had 15.8 points, ranked eighth among NL pitchers.

National League Batter of the Day—Denard Span of the Giants hit a three-run homer and went 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in five runs, in the 12-3 win over the Brewers.

American League Batter of the Day—Michael Saunders of the Blue Jays hit a two-run homer and doubled, going 2-for-4, in the 5-3 win over the Rays.

Notable—Two other pitchers who ranked among Box-Toppers’ top 10 players in 2015 also earned Player of the Game honors Monday:

  • Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta (7.0IP 2H 0R 6K W in the 9-0 win over the Angels) had the second-highest Box-Toppers game score (+10.0) of Monday’s Players of the Day, but only earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, since he lost overall Player of the Day and NL Player of the Day honors to Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who had a Box-Toppers game score of +14.0. Arrieta led all players in 2015 with 29.1 Box-Toppers points.
  • Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (7.0IP 3H 2R 7K ND in the 4-3 win over the Braves) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point. He had 21.0 Box-Toppers points in 2015, sixth among all players and fourth among NL pitchers.

Debuts—Two players made their Box-Toppers debut Monday, the first time in their career they earned Player of the Game honors:

  • Trevor Story of the Rockies (2HR 2-6 2R 4BI in the 10-6 win over the Diamondbacks) was making his Major League debut Monday. He is the 3,607th player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.
  • Tyler Wilson of the Orioles (3.0IP 2H 0R K ND in the 3-2 win over the Twins) made his Major League debut May 20, 2015, and was playing in his 10th career game. He is the 3,608th player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.

Scoring—Kershaw earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Hamels earns 1.7 points for being AL Player of the Day. Span and Saunders each earn 1.5 points for being top batter in their league for the day. All of Monday’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

4/4 Score Team Player AB R H BI BB K IP H R ER BB K
MLB 14.0 Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (W,1-0) - - - - - - 7.0 1 0 0 1 9
10.0 Cubs Jake Arrieta (W,1-0) - - - - - - 7.0 2 0 0 1 6
BAT 5.0 Giants Denard Span, CF 4 2 2 5 0 0 - - - - - -
5.0 `Nationals Max Scherzer - - - - - - 7.0 3 2 2 2 7
AL 4.0 Rangers Cole Hamels (W,1-0) - - - - - - 7.0 4 2 2 3 8
3.0 `Reds Raisel Iglesias - - - - - - 6.0 6 2 2 0 7
2.0 Rockies Trevor Story, SS 6 2 2 4 0 2 - - - - - -
2.0 `Orioles Tyler Wilson - - - - - - 3.0 2 0 0 0 1
BAT 1.0 Blue Jays Michael Saunders, LF 4 1 2 2 0 2 - - - - - -
1.0 White Sox Adam Eaton, RF 3 1 2 1 0 0 - - - - - -
`Denotes that the pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.