Pirates' Andrew McCutchen tops players for Tuesday, Sept. 26; Red Sox' Sale fails to secure Box-Toppers Player of the Year

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Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates is Tuesday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day, earning the third-highest Box-Toppers game score by a batter this season.

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2017 season as of Sept. 26:  


Player Pos Team BTP
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 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 22.0
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
What are those numbers after players' names?

Also Tuesday, Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale failed to secure Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors in his start Tuesday, as his team lost, leaving the door open for Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer or Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw to pass him in starts later this week in the season’s final days.

Player of the Day—McCutchen hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and doubled in the 10-1 win over the Orioles. McCutchen went 4-for-4, scoring four times and driving in eight runs.

McCutchen’s Box-Toppers game score of +12.0 Tuesday is the third-highest for a batter earning Player of the Game honors in 2017 (see chart below for the highest Box-Toppers game scores for batters so far in 2017). It is beat only by what are perhaps the two highest Box-Toppers game scores for batters in Box-Toppers’ 23-season history:

McCutchen earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day, giving him 9.0 for the season, ranking 49th among all players and fifth among National League batters.

American League Player of the Day—Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ struck out nine over seven innings, allowing one run, four hits and no walks, in the 9-4 win over the Red Sox.

American League Batter of the Day—Brian Dozier of the Twins hit a three-run, eighth-inning, go-ahead home run in the 8-to-6 win over the Indians. Dozier also doubled and went 3-for-5, scoring three times.

National League Batter of the Day—There is no separate NL Batter of the Day for Tuesday because the overall Player of the Day is NL batter Andrew McCutchen.

Box-Toppers points lead—Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale had a chance to secure Box-Toppers Player of the Year honors in his start Tuesday if he earned Player of the Day honors. But Sale failed to even earn Player of the Game honors as the Red Sox lost.

Sale (5IP 8H 5R 2BB 8K L in the 9-4 loss to the Blue Jays) had a Box-Toppers game score Tuesday of -7.0. Player of the Game was Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ, who was also AL Player of the Day, with a Box-Toppers game score of +10.0.

Sale leads 2017 Box-Toppers player rankings with 25.1 Box-Toppers points. Had he earned Player of the Day honors (worth 2.0 points), it would have given him 27.1 for the season and put his lead out of reach with five days remaining in the regular season.

But now two players—Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw—are still in contention to rise to the lead and become 2017 Box-Toppers Player of the Year with one start remaining:

  • Scherzer (25.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked second) is just 0.1 point behind Sale and is slated to make his final start of the season Saturday. But with the playoffs looming and the Nationals postseason spot secure, there is doubt whether Scherzer will pitch or pitch long enough to earn Player of the Game honors. Scherzer would only need to earn Player of the Game honors (worth 1.0 point) to win Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row—he was top player in 2016 with 25.7 points.
  • Kershaw (23.1 Box-Toppers points, ranked third) is 2.0 points behind Sale and is slated to make his final start of the season Friday. Again, his start could be in doubt, given the Dodgers secure postseason position. Kershaw would need to earn Player of the Day honors and have Scherzer fail to earn any more Box-Toppers points to win Player of the Year. That would give Kershaw 25.1 Box-Toppers points, tied with Sale, but Kershaw would rank higher on a tiebreaker since he had more 2016 Box-Toppers points than Sale—24.4 vs. 13.4. Kershaw has earned Player of the Year honors three times (2011, 2013 and 2014) and finished first or second among all players in each of the past six seasons.

Top 10 watch—Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray (16.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 10th) failed to add to his Box-Toppers point total in his team’s 11-4 win over the Giants.

Ray (5IP 3H 2R 0ER 2BB 5K W) had a Box-Toppers game score of +3.0. Player of the Game was teammate J.D. Martinez (GS 2B 3-6 R 6BI) with a Box-Toppers game score of +6.0.

Notable—Royals pitcher Jason Vargas has the most 2017 Box-Toppers points of any of the 15 who earned Player of the Game honors Tuesday.

Vargas (6IP 5H R BB 3K W in the 2-1 win over the Tigers) has 11.0 Box-Toppers points on the season, 28th-most among all players, 10th among AL pitchers.

Debut—Kevin Plawecki of the Mets made his Box-Toppers debut Tuesday with his first career Player of the Game honor.

Plawecki (HR 2-4 R 2BI in the 4-3 win over the Braves) made his Major League debut April 21, 2015, and was playing in his 154th career game. He is the 3,919th player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.

Scoring—McCutchen earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Happ earns 1.7 points for being AL Player of the Day. Dozier earns 1.5 points for being AL Batter of the Day. All of Tuesday’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 game

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score 

9/26 Score Game Player of the Game AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
MLB 12.0 PIT 10, BAL 1 Andrew McCutchen CF 4 4 4 8 - - - - - -
AL 10.0 TOR 9, BOS 4 J.A. Happ W (10-11) - - - - 7.0 4 1 1 0 9
8.0 COL 6, MIA 0 Tyler Anderson W (6-6) - - - - 7.0 4 0 0 0 5
6.0 ARI 11, SF 4 J.D. Martinez RF 4 1 3 6 - - - - - -
5.0 HOU 14, TEX 3 Dallas Keuchel W (14-5) - - - - 6.0 5 2 1 1 8
4.2 STL 8, CHC 7 Zach Duke W (1-1) - - - - 1.2 0 0 0 0 3
BAT 4.0 MIN 8, CLE 6 Brian Dozier 2B 5 3 3 3 - - - - - -
4.0 PHI 4, WSH 1 Hector Neris S (25) - - - - 1.0 0 0 0 0 3
3.0 LAD 9, SD 2 Corey Seager SS 4 1 2 4 - - - - - -
3.0 SEA 6, OAK 3 Yonder Alonso 1B 3 2 2 2 - - - - - -
3.0 LAA 9, CHW 3 Mike Trout CF 3 2 1 3 - - - - - -
2.0 NYY 6, TB 1 Starlin Castro 2B 3 1 3 1 - - - - - -
1.2 MIL 7, CIN 6 Josh Hader W (2-3) - - - - 2.2 2 2 2 1 6
1.0 NYM 4, ATL 3 Kevin Plawecki C 4 1 2 2 - - - - - -
1.0 KC 2, DET 1 Jason Vargas W (18-10) - - - - 6.0 5 1 1 1 3
MLB—Overall Box-Toppers Player of the Day, worth 2.0 total Box-Toppers points.
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 players

Here 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 +/-
Vargas, Jason 2055 pi sp kc al 11.0 12.0 37.4 58.2 10.0
Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp hou al 9.4 16.4 52.2 52.2 2.4
McCutchen, Andrew 2637 cf pit nl 9.0 16.0 47.5 62.9 2.0
Alonso, Yonder 2945 1b sea al 8.0 10.0 19.5 21.0 6.0
Seager, Corey 3587 ss lad nl 6.0 10.0 11.5 11.5 2.0
Neris, Hector 3553 pi cp phi nl 6.0 8.0 9.0 9.0 4.0
Happ, J.A. 2536 pi sp tor al 5.7 20.4 45.9 56.9 -9.0
Martinez, J.D. 2922 rf ari nl 5.5 11 20.7 22.7 0
Castro, Starlin 2767 2b nyy al 5.0 12.0 20.5 30.5 -2.0
Trout, Mike 2949 cf ana al 4.0 16.5 51.5 53.0 -8.5
Dozier, Brian 3219 2b min al 4.0 6.0 17.7 17.7 2.0
Anderson, Tyler 3656 pi sp mr col nl 3.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 1.0
Hader, Josh 3881 pi mr mil nl 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
Duke, Zach 2037 pi mr stl nl 1.0 1.0 4.0 22.0 1.0
Plawecki, Kevin 3919 ca nym nl 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
What are those numbers after players' names?

Highest Box-Toppers game scores for batters in 2017

Here are the highest Box-Toppers game scores earned by batters who won Player of the Game so far in the 2017 season. On Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates had the third-highest Box-Toppers game score of the season (+12.0). These seven players have Box-Toppers game scores of +10.0 or more.


Date Bonus Score Game Player AB R H BI
1 4/30 MLB 15.0 WSH 23, NYM 5 Anthony Rendon, 3B 6 5 6 10
2 6/6 BAT 14.0 CIN 13, STL 1 Scooter Gennett, LF 5 4 5 10
3 9/26 MLB 12.0 PIT 10, BAL 1 Andrew McCutchen CF 4 4 4 8
4 7/19 NL 10.0 COL 18, SD 4 Nolan Arenado (3B) 6 4 5 7
5 7/26 BAT 10.0 KC 16, DET 2 Eric Hosmer (1B) 6 5 5 6
6 7/4 AL 10.0 BOS 11, TEX 4 Andrew Benintendi (LF) 5 4 5 6
7 8/31 MLB 10.0 TOR 11, BAL 8 Kendrys Morales DH 5 4 4 7
MLB—Overall Box-Toppers Player of the Day, worth 2.0 total Box-Toppers points.
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.