Cubs pitcher Jon Lester is Saturday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day, becoming the 38th player this season with 10 or more Box-Toppers points.
Top 10 playersHere are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2017 season as of Sept. 30:
|1||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||25.1|
|2||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||25.0|
|3||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||23.1|
|4||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||22.5|
|5||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||22.0|
|6||Carrasco, Carlos 2885||pi sp||cle al||21.8|
|7||Severino, Luis 3567||pi sp||nyy al||21.1|
|8||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||20.1|
|9||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||16.1|
|10||Ray, Robbie 3502||pi sp||ari nl||16.0|
Also Saturday, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale secured Box-Toppers 2017 Player of the Year honors after the only two players who had the chance to pass him both failed to earn Player of the Game honors—Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Player of the Day—Lester struck out seven over five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and no walks, in the 9-0 win over the Reds.
Lester earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day, giving him 10.7 for the season, rising to 33rd place among all players and 16th among NL pitchers. He is the 38th player to reach 10 Box-Toppers points this season—last season 54 players had 10 or more points.
All-time leadersHere are Box-Toppers top 20 players since record keeping began in 1995:
|1||Randy Johnson||pi sp||retired||278.8|
|2||Pedro Martinez||pi sp||retired||244.8|
|3||Clayton Kershaw||pi sp||lad nl||206.8|
|4||Curt Schilling||pi sp||retired||194.1|
|5||CC Sabathia||pi sp||nyy al||192.7|
|6||Albert Pujols||1b dh||ana al||187.8|
|8||Zack Greinke||pi sp||ari nl||176.2|
|9||Felix Hernandez||pi sp||sea al||171.4|
|10||Roy Halladay||pi sp||retired||170.7|
|11||Manny Ramirez||lf dh||retired||167.2|
|12||Johan Santana||pi sp||free agent||166.6|
|13||Roger Clemens||pi sp||retired||164.8|
|14||John Smoltz||pi sp||retired||160.9|
|15||Tim Hudson||pi sp||retired||157.0|
|16||Max Scherzer||pi sp||dc nl||156.7|
|17||Mike Mussina||pi sp||retired||155.6|
|18||Justin Verlander||pi sp||hou al||154.0|
|19||Jon Lester||pi sp||chi nl||153.9|
|20||Cole Hamels||pi sp||tex al||153.4|
List of top 100 players since 1995 as of July 30, 2017.
This is the ninth season Lester has earned 10 or more points in the 12 seasons he has earned Box-Toppers points, going back to 2006. However, it is a huge dropoff from Lester’s performance in 2016, when he had 22.1 points, ranked fourth among all players. His drop of 11.4 points from last season is the sixth-biggest drop in points among all players from 2016 to 2017.
Lester now has 153.9 career Box-Toppers points and rises to 19th place among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. With his points Saturday, he passes three players on the “all-time” list—Twins pitcher Bartolo Colon (152.2), Barry Bonds (153.2) and Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels (153.4). Lester now trails 18th-ranked player, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander (154.0).
With his rise into the all-time top 20, Lester pushes Bonds off the list to 21st place. But it should be noted that if Bonds entire career from 1986 were tracked, rough projections put his career Box-Toppers point total at about 230.
Passing Colon and Hamels, Lester also rises to eighth place among active players in career Box-Toppers points.
Verlander, Lester and Hamels, tightly grouped together at 18th, 19th and 20th place in “all-time” Box-Toppers career points all made their Box-Toppers debuts in the first three months of the 2006 season:
- Verlander on April 8
- Lester on June 21
- Hamels on May 12
American League Player of the Day—Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia struck out six over 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and no walks, in the 2-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Sabathia earns 1.7 Box-Toppers points for being AL Player of the Day, giving him 192.7 career points, fifth-most among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. He trails fourth-ranked player Curt Schilling (194.1) and ranks second among all active players, behind Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (206.8).
Sabathia has 7.7 Box-Toppers points on the season and ranks 26th among AL pitchers.
American League Batter of the Day—Joey Gallo of the Rangers homered twice and went 2-for-2, scoring three times and driving in three runs, in the 8-4 win over the Athletics.
National League Batter of the Day—Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers homered and went 2-for-2, scoring four times and driving in two runs, in the 5-3 win over the Rockies.
Box-Toppers Players of the YearHere are Box-Toppers Player of the Year winners in each season of Box-Toppers tracking since 1995. Player of the Year is the player with the season’s highest Box-Toppers point total:
|1995||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Mariners||23.7|
|1996||John Smoltz||pi sp||Braves||26.1|
|1997||Roger Clemens||pi sp||Blue Jays||27.4|
|1998||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Astros†||26.4|
|1999||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Dbacks||31.5|
|2000||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Dbacks||33.7|
|2001||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Dbacks||29.4|
|2002||Randy Johnson||pi sp||Dbacks||33.7|
|2003||Jason Schmidt||pi sp||Giants||24.7|
|2004||Johan Santana||pi sp||Twins||26.8|
|2005||Johan Santana||pi sp||Twins||24.1|
|2006||Johan Santana||pi sp||Twins||25.7|
|2007||Jake Peavy||pi sp||Padres||23.4|
|2008||CC Sabathia||pi sp||Brewers||26.7|
|2009||Zack Greinke||pi sp||Royals||21.5|
|2010||Jon Lester||pi sp||Red Sox||23.4|
|2011||Clayton Kershaw||pi sp||Dodgers||26.1|
|2012||Justin Verlander||pi sp||Tigers||24.8|
|2013||Clayton Kershaw||pi sp||Dodgers||21.7|
|2014||Clayton Kershaw||pi sp||Dodgers||31.5|
|2015||Jake Arrieta||pi sp||Cubs||29.1|
|2016||Max Scherzer||pi sp||Nationals||25.7|
|2017||Chris Sale||pi sp||Red Sox||25.1|
|† Played for Mariners before trade to Astros.|
Player of the Year—Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale secures Box-Toppers 2017 Player of the Year honors after neither Max Scherzer nor Clayton Kershaw was able to pass him in their starts Saturday.
Sale has 25.1 Box-Toppers points on the season, finishing just 0.1 point ahead of second-place Scherzer of the Nationals (25.0) and 2.0 points ahead of Kershaw of the Dodgers (23.1). It is the first time in his career Sale has earned Player of the Year honors. His best previous finish was 2014, when he ranked ninth among all players with 17.4 points.
Scherzer and Kershaw both had chances to pass Sale in their starts Saturday.
Scherzer needed only to earn Player of the Game honors (worth 1.0 point) to take the lead, but the Nationals lost to the Pirates 4-1. Scherzer seemingly had a chance to earn Player of the Game honors, as he exited with his team leading and had a team-leading Box-Toppers game score of +6.1 (3.1IP H 0R BB 5K ND). But the Pirates took the lead and won and Player of the Game honors went to Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon (7IP 4H R BB 5K ND), with a Box-Toppers game score of +5.0. Scherzer was pulled after hamstring cramps, in what is being described as a precautionary move.
While Scherzer did not pass Sale to earn overall Player of the Year, he did secure Box-Toppers NL Player of the Year honors for the second straight year after Kershaw failed to pass him in his start Saturday.
Kershaw (4IP 7H 3R 0BB 2K ND in the 5-3 win over the Rockies) had a Box-Toppers game score Saturday of -7.0. Player of the Game was teammate Yasiel Puig (HR 2-2 4R 2BI), who was also NL Batter of the Day, with a Box-Toppers game score of +6.0.
Kershaw could have passed Sale only if he earned overall Player of the Day honors Saturday (worth 2.0 points). But he failed to earn any points and so remained in third place overall, second among NL pitchers, behind Scherzer. Kershaw had finished first or second in Box-Toppers player rankings each of the last six seasons.
Box-Toppers team rankings—The Los Angeles Dodgers now have the chance to tie the Cleveland Indians for the Box-Toppers team rankings lead going into the final day of the season.
The Dodgers are 2.0 Box-Toppers points behind, meaning if they win and their player earns Player of the Day honors (worth 2.0 points) and the Indians lose, both teams would be tied at 139.9 points.
The Dodgers moved within reach of the Indians Saturday when Yasiel Puig earned them 1.5 Box-Toppers points for being NL Batter of the Day. The Indians lost, 2-1, to the White Sox and so earned no points. Meanwhile, the third-place Nationals also lost, 4-1, to the Pirates, securing the NL lead for 2017 for the Dodgers—the Nationals are now 2.6 points behind and would be unable to catch the Dodgers with only one game remaining.
Here are the standings for the top three teams going into Sunday’s games:
- Indians 139.9
- Dodgers 137.9
- Nationals 135.3
Top 10 watch—Indians pitcher Corey Kluber (22.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked fifth) did not earn Player of the Game honors in his start Saturday.
Kluber (5IP 6H R 0BB 3K ND in the 2-1 loss to the White Sox) had a Box-Toppers game score of 0.0. Player of the Game was White Sox pitcher Juan Minaya (1IP 0H 0R 0BB K Sv) with a Box-Toppers game score of +2.0.
Notable—Padres pitcher Jhoulys Chacin has the most 2017 Box-Toppers points among the 15 who earned Player of the Game honors Saturday.
Chacin (6IP 5H R 2BB 6K ND in the 3-2 win over the Giants) earned 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 11.4 for the season, 24th among all players and 15th among NL pitchers.
Debut—Two players made their Box-Toppers debuts Saturday, the first time in their careers they earned Player of the Game honors:
- Mets pitcher Jacob Rhame (2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K W in the 7-4, 11-inning win over the Phillies) made his Major League debut Sept. 2 and was playing in his ninth career game. He is the 3,921st player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.
- Tigers pitcher Chadwick Bell (1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K ND in the 3-2 win over the Twins) made his Major League debut May 10 and was playing in his 28th career game. He is the 3,922nd player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.
Scoring—Lester earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Sabathia earns 1.7 points for being AL Player of the Day. Gallo and Puig each earn 1.5 points for being their league’s Batter of the Day. All of Saturday’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.
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Top player from each gameListed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score
|9/30||Score||Game||Player of the Game||AB||R||H||BI||IP||H||R||ER||BB||K|
|MLB||8.0||CHC 9, CIN 0||Jon Lester W (13-8)||-||-||-||-||5.0||4||0||0||0||7|
|AL||7.2||NYY 2, TOR 1||CC Sabathia W (14-5)||-||-||-||-||5.2||4||0||0||0||6|
|7.0||TB 4, BAL 3||Chris Archer W (10-12)||-||-||-||-||5.0||2||0||0||2||6|
|BAT||6.0||TEX 8, OAK 4||Joey Gallo 1B||2||3||2||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|BAT||6.0||LAD 5, COL 3||Yasiel Puig RF||2||4||2||2||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|5.0||`PIT 4, WSH 1||Jameson Taillon||-||-||-||-||7.0||4||1||1||1||5|
|4.0||MIA 10, ATL 2||Derek Dietrich LF-2B||2||2||1||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|4.0||NYM 7, PHI 4 (F/11)||Jacob Rhame W (1-1)||-||-||-||-||2.0||0||0||0||0||2|
|3.1||SEA 6, LAA 4||Edwin Díaz S (34)||-||-||-||-||1.1||0||0||0||0||2|
|3.0||BOS 6, HOU 3||Mookie Betts RF||3||3||2||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|3.0||`SD 3, SF 2||Jhoulys Chacin||-||-||-||-||6.0||5||1||1||2||6|
|3.0||`DET 3, MIN 2||Chadwick Bell H (1)||-||-||-||-||1.0||0||0||0||0||2|
|2.0||KC 4, ARI 3||Jorge Bonifacio RF||3||1||1||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2.0||CHW 2, CLE 1||Juan Minaya S (9)||-||-||-||-||1.0||0||0||0||0||1|
|1.0||STL 7, MIL 6||Paul DeJong SS||3||1||1||2||-||-||-||-||-||-|
AL—Overall American League Player of the Day, worth 1.7 total Box-Toppers points.
NL—Overall National League Player of the Day, worth 1.7 total Box-Toppers points.
BAT—Top AL or NL Batter of the Day, worth 1.5 total Box-Toppers points.
All other players listed here earn Player of the Game honors, worth 1.0 Box-Toppers point.
` Pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.
Box-Toppers point totals of the day’s top playersHere are Box-Toppers point totals of each of the Players of the Game. Players are ranked by their Box-Toppers point total for the current season (’17). Also shown are each players’ Box-Toppers point total for this season and last (’16-17), the period 2012-2017 (’12-17) and each players’ career point total. Also shown is how their 2017 Box-Toppers point total compares with their 2016 total (+/-).
|Player of the Game||Pos||Team||’17||’16-17||’12-17||Career||+/-|
|Chacin, Jhoulys 2711||pi sp||sd nl||11.4||17.1||23.8||39.2||5.7|
|Lester, Jon 2173||pi sp||chi nl||10.7||32.8||78.3||153.9||-11.4|
|Diaz, Edwin 3690||pi cp||sea al||9.0||16.0||16.0||16.0||2.0|
|Taillon, Jameson 3658||pi sp||pit nl||9.0||14.0||14.0||14.0||4.0|
|Archer, Chris 3194||pi sp||tb al||8.0||17.0||57.1||57.1||-1.0|
|Sabathia, C.C. 1492||pi sp||nyy al||7.7||13.7||40.2||192.7||1.7|
|Gallo, Joey 3485||3b lf 1b||tex al||6.5||6.5||8.0||8.0||6.5|
|Betts, Mookie 3404||rf||bos al||6||12.2||17.2||17.2||-0.2|
|Puig, Yasiel 3193||rf||lad nl||6.0||9.5||15.5||15.5||2.5|
|Dietrich, Derek 3199||3b lf 2b||fla nl||5.5||7.5||10.5||10.5||3.5|
|Dejong, Paul 3827||ss||stl nl||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5|
|Bonifacio, Jorge 3783||rf||kc al||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Minaya, Juan 3913||pi cp||chi al||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Bell, Chadwick 3922||pi mr||det al||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Rhame, Jacob 3921||pi mr||nym nl||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0|