|AL PITCHERS||POS||TEAM||BTP||NL PITCHERS||POS||TEAM||BTP|
|1||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||25.1||1||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||24.0|
|2||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||21.0||2||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||23.1|
|3||Severino, Luis 3567||pi sp||nyy al||20.1||3||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||20.8|
|4||Carrasco, Carlos 2885||pi sp||cle al||19.8||4||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||20.1|
|5||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||16.1||5||Ray, Robbie 3502||pi sp||ari nl||16.0|
|6||Paxton, James 3280||pi sp||sea al||13.7||6||Nola, Aaron 3569||pi sp||phi nl||15.8|
|7||Verlander, Justin 2112||pi sp||hou al||12.7||7||deGrom, Jacob 3343||pi sp||nym nl||15.7|
|8||Clevinger, Mike 3707||pi sp||cle al||11.4||8||Wood, Alex 3246||pi sp||lad nl||15.7|
|9||Gausman, Kevin 3191||pi sp||bal al||11.1||9||Nelson, Jimmy 3299||pi sp||mil nl||14.0|
|10||Vargas, Jason 2055||pi sp||kc al||10.0||10||Quintana, Jose 3040||pi sp||chi nl||13.0|
|AL BATTERS||POS||TEAM||BTP||NL BATTERS||POS||TEAM||BTP|
|1||Encarnacion, Edwin 2098||dh 1b||cle al||12.1||1||Rizzo, Anthony 3063||1b||chi nl||15.5|
|2||Andrus, Elvis 2582||ss||tex al||11.0||2||Stanton, Giancarlo 2737||rf||fla nl||11.7|
|3||Judge, Aaron 3767||rf||nyy al||10.2||3||Gennett, Scooter 3254||2b||cin nl||10.7|
|4||Bruce, Jay 2453||rf||cle al||10.0||4||Arenado, Nolan 3306||3b||col nl||9.2|
|5||Healy, Ryon 3685||dh 1b||oak al||9.7||5||Parra, Gerardo 2746||rf lf||col nl||9.0|
|6||Hosmer, Eric 2886||1b||kc al||9.5||6||Fowler, Dexter 2698||cf||stl nl||9.0|
|7||Odor, Rougned 3336||2b||tex al||8.7||7||Bellinger, Cody 3781||1b rf lf||lad nl||8.7|
|8||Sano, Miguel 3527||3b||min al||8.5||8||Posey, Buster 2745||ca 1b||sf nl||8.5|
|9||Ramirez, Jose 3436||3b 2b||cle al||8.5||9||Ozuna, Marcell 3190||lf||fla nl||8.2|
|10||Reddick, Josh 2936||rf lf cf||hou al||8.0||10||Rendon, Anthony 3258||3b||dc nl||8.0|
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale rises to the lead in this week’s Box-Toppers team rankings report, passing last week’s leader, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Top 10 playersHere are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2017 season as of Sept. 21:
|1||Sale, Chris 2806||pi sp||bos al||25.1|
|2||Scherzer, Max 2588||pi sp||dc nl||24.0|
|3||Kershaw, Clayton 2494||pi sp||lad nl||23.1|
|4||Kluber, Corey 3200||pi sp||cle al||21.0|
|5||Strasburg, Stephen 2736||pi sp||dc nl||20.8|
|6||Greinke, Zack 1871||pi sp||ari nl||20.1|
|7||Severino, Luis 3567||pi sp||nyy al||20.1|
|8||Carrasco, Carlos 2885||pi sp||cle al||19.8|
|9||Santana, Ervin 2005||pi sp||min al||16.1|
|10||Ray, Robbie 3502||pi sp||ari nl||16.0|
Sale now has 25.1 Box-Toppers points, passing both Kershaw (23.1) and Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (24.0). However, both Kershaw and Scherzer could pass Sale in their starts Sunday—Kershaw would need to earn Player of the Day honors (worth 2.0 points) and Scherzer would need to earn at least NL Player of the Day honors (worth 1.7 points).
After Sunday, each of the three pitchers likely would have one more start remaining in the regular season, which ends Sunday, Oct. 1.
The race for Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors is likely down to these three players with a little more than a week left in the season. Fourth-place player, Indians pitcher Corey Kluber (21.0 Box-Toppers points) likely has only two starts remaining and even if he earned Player of the Day honors twice, would have 25.0 points, short of Sale’s current total.
A batter on an unlikely streak of earning Player of the Game honors in each of the last 10 or so games remaining would have a remote chance of catching Sale. The highest-ranked batter, Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (15.5 Box-Toppers points, ranked 14th overall) is 9.6 points behind Sale. So it’s possible but highly unlikely for someone like Rizzo to make up the difference, meaning the race for highest Box-Toppers point total in 2017 is down to Sale, Scherzer and Kershaw.
Sale passed Kershaw for the outright Box-Toppers player rankings lead on Wednesday, when he earned Player of the Day honors. With that honor, Sale sealed American League Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors for 2017, putting his lead out of reach of second-place AL player Kluber (21.0).
Here are the leaders in other key categories:
National League pitchers—Scherzer (24.0) passedKershaw (23.1) for the lead since last week. Both pitchers start Sunday and likely have an additional start remaining this season. Scherzer was 2016 Box-Toppers Player of the Year with 25.7 points. Kershaw was Box-Toppers Player of the Year in 2011 (26.1), 2013 (21.7) and 2014 (31.5). Kershaw ranked second among all players in 2012 (20.8), 2015 (25.7) and 2016 (24.4). While Kershaw could still earn this year’s Player of the Year honor, he also could end his six-year streak finishing first or second as he currently ranks third among all players.
National League batters—Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs maintains his lead with 15.5 Box-Toppers points, earning no points in the past week. He leads second-place NL batter Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins (11.7). Rizzo ranks 14th among all players.
Lowest points to lead categoryNolan Arenado of the Rockies set the record for lowest Box-Toppers point total to win a season category—his 10.7 points led National League batters in 2016. Here are the lowest-point totals to win a league category in the 22 seasons of Box-Toppers record keeping:
|1||Nolan Arenado||col nl||10.7||2016 NL bat|
|2||Carlos Gonzalez||col nl||11.5||2015 NL bat|
|3||Troy Tulowitzki||col nl||11.6||2014 NL bat|
|4||Adrian Beltre||tex al||12.5||2015 AL bat|
|4||Aubrey Huff||bal al||12.5||2008 AL bat|
|6||Ryan Braun||mil nl||12.5||2012 NL bat|
|7||Manny Machado||bal al||12.7||2016 AL bat|
|8||Adrian Beltre||tex al||13.0||2012 AL bat|
|9||Paul Goldschmidt||ari nl||13.7||2013 NL bat|
|9||Bret Boone||sea al||13.7||2001 AL bat|
American League batters—Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians maintains his lead with 12.1 Box-Toppers points, earning no points in the past week. He leads second-place AL batter Elvis Andrus of the Rangers (11.0). Encarnacion ranks 19th among all players.
If Encarnacion’s lead with 12.1 Box-Toppers points stands through the final week of the season, it would be the lowest Box-Toppers point total for an AL batting leader in the 23 seasons of Box-Toppers tracking. Previously, 12.5 points was the lowest total to lead AL batters and it was done twice, in 2015 by Adrian Beltre of the Rangers and in 2008 by Aubrey Huff of the Orioles. The lowest point total to lead a season category is 10.7 by Nolan Arenado of the Rockies in 2016, when he led NL batters. If Encarnacion’s 12.1 points ends up leading AL batters in 2017, it would be the fourth-lowest Box-Toppers point total to lead a category since tracking began in 1995.
Notable things to watch—As the end of the season approaches, here are a couple of notable things to look out for:
Ichiro Suzuki is in danger of ending his streak of earning Box-Toppers points for 16 consecutive seasons.
Suzuki of the Marlins earned Box-Toppers points in each season from 2001 to 2016, but so far has not earned Player of the Game honors once in 2017 and so has no Box-Toppers points. Suzuki, 43, has played in a career-low 128 games this season.
His streak of 16 straight seasons is tied (with eight others) for the 15th-longest streak in Box-Toppers tracking history (going back to 1995).
If Suzuki does earn Player of the Game honors in the season’s final week, he will extend his streak to 17 straight seasons earning Box-Toppers points, tied (with eight others) for the seventh-longest streak in Box-Toppers tracking history. Earlier this year, both Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Albert Pujols of the Angels extended their consecutive season streak earning Box-Toppers points to 17—both have earned Player of the Game honors in each season from 2001 to 2017. (See Box-Toppers season streaks chart on the homepage, scroll way down.)
While Suzuki has earned Box-Toppers points in 16 straight seasons, he doesn’t rank that highly in terms of Box-Toppers point totals. He has only 53.7 career Box-Toppers points, 38th among active batters.
Also, seven players this season have earned 20 or more Box-Toppers points, tying the record for most players with 20 or more points in a single season. The only other time it was done in Box-Toppers tracking history (going back to 1995) was in 2015. The record could be broken if Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, with 19.8 points, becomes the eighth player to reach to 20 Box-Toppers points if he earns at least Player of the Game honors in the season’s final week.
So far this season, 744 different players have earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors. There are 396 players who have more than 2.0 Box-Toppers points. There are 159 players who have made their Box-Toppers debut so far this season, the first time in their career they earned Player of the Game honors. Two players debuted in the past week.
Next week—Box-Toppers weekly team and player rankings reports are normally posted on Fridays. Next week there will be no weekly reports posted on Friday, Sept. 29, since it is so close to the end of the season, Sunday, Oct. 1. Instead the weekly team and player reports will be posted after Sunday’s regular season final games, most likely on Monday, Oct. 2.
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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