Box-Toppers’ NL Division Series previews: Rockies vs. Brewers, Braves vs. Dodgers

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Both National League Division Series begin Thursday.

The Wild Card Colorado Rockies face the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in one best-of-five game series and the NL East winners, the Atlanta Braves take on the Los Angeles Dodgers, champions of the NL West in the other series.

NL Division Series, Game 1: Rockies at Brewers

The Rockies rank 13th in Box-Toppers team rankings (106.0 Box-Toppers points), while the Brewers rank third (132.4 points). The Rockies are the lowest-ranked postseason team (ranking below three non-postseason teams) while the Brewers are the top NL team.

Both teams finished the season strong. The Brewers had 11.0 Box-Toppers points since Sept. 20, most of any team. The Rockies had 9.0 points.

The pitching matchup Thursday:

Rockies—Antonio Senzatela, 4.0 Box-Toppers points, 252nd among all players, 85th among NL pitchers.

Brewers—Brandon Woodruff, 1.0 Box-Toppers point, 640th among all players, 164th among NL pitchers.

Neither pitcher can be considered a starting ace that you’d like to pencil in for Game 1 of an important series. True, both teams needed to exert extra effort after the regular season to determine their playoff seeding, with the Rockies losing their NL West championship tiebreaker game to the Dodgers on Monday, then winning the NL Wild Card Game Tuesday over the Cubs. And the Brewers also beat the Cubs in the NL Central championship tiebreaker Monday. So it’s understandable that pitching lineups are not in perfect synch with circumstances.

Senzatela has served in a starting role since July and the Brewers are 7-6 in games he starts. He’s pitched as many as seven innings in two of his starts. He’s earned 3.0 of his 4.0 Box-Toppers points in 2018 as a starter.

Woodruff started four times, all prior to July, and the Rockies are 3-1 in games he starts. The deepest Woodruff went in a start was five innings. His 1.0 Box-Toppers point came on Sept. 2 when he pitched four innings of middle relief.

The Rockies top-ranked player is pitcher German Marquez with 15.7 Box-Toppers points, 15th among all players and fifth among NL pitchers. Marquez started Monday in the NL West tiebreaker loss to the Dodgers.

The Rockies top-ranked batter is third baseman Nolan Arenado with 6.0 Box-Toppers points, 136th among all players and 20th among NL batters.

The Brewers top-ranked player is pitcher Jhoulys Chacin with 13.7 Box-Toppers points, 20th among all players and seventh among NL pitchers. Chacin started Monday in the NL Central tiebreaker win over the Cubs.

The Brewers top-ranked batter is outfielder Christian Yelich with 11.5 Box-Toppers points, 34th among all players and first among NL batters. Yelich earned 6.5 of his 11.5 points from Aug. 29 on.

The Box-Toppers point totals of all players on the teams’ active rosters at season’s end are below. Players who did not earn Box-Toppers points in 2018 are not listed.

Rockies vs. Brewers

Here are players for both teams in the NL Division Series beginning Thursday. Players are listed for both teams ranked by Box-Toppers points earned in 2018. All players listed were on active Major or Minor League rosters at the end of the season—not necessarily all of them will be included on postseason rosters.

Colorado Rockies Milwaukee Brewers
Player Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Marquez, German 3788 pi sp 15.7 Chacin, Jhoulys 2711 pi sp 13.7
Freeland, Kyle 3763 pi sp 12.4 Yelich, Christian 3334 rf lf 11.5
Gray, Jon 3634 pi sp 11.7 Hader, Josh 3881 pi cp mr 10.7
Anderson, Tyler 3656 pi sp 8.0 Peralta, Freddy 3965 pi sp 8.7
Davis, Wade 2681 pi cp 7.0 Granderson, Curtis 2051 dh rf 8.2
Arenado, Nolan 3306 3b 6.0 Gonzalez, Gio 2626 pi sp 7.7
Story, Trevor 3607 ss 6.0 Shaw, Travis 3544 3b 6.5
Gonzalez, Carlos 2460 rf 4.5 Anderson, Chase 3328 pi sp 6.4
Senzatela, Antonio 3760 pi sp mr 4.0 Braun, Ryan J. 2300 lf 6.0
Oberg, Scott 4024 pi mr 4.0 Aguilar, Jesus 3787 1b 5.5
LeMahieu, DJ 3091 2b 3.5 Knebel, Corey 3757 pi cp 5.0
Dahl, David 3714 rf cf 3.5 Guerra, Junior 3633 pi sp 5.0
Bettis, Chad 3481 pi sp 3.0 Miley, Wade 3006 pi sp 4.0
Ottavino, Adam 3054 pi mr cp 3.0 Lyles, Jordan 3100 pi mr sp 4.0
Blackmon, Charlie 2891 cf 2.5 Schoop, Jonathan 3307 2b 3.5
Desmond, Ian 2673 1b 2.5 Cain, Lorenzo 3171 cf 3.5
Parra, Gerardo 2746 lf ph 2.0 Moustakas, Mike 2967 3b 3.5
McGee, Jake 3385 pi mr 2.0 Suter, Brent 3843 pi sp 3.0
McMahon, Ryan 4004 ph 1.7 Soria, Joakim 2258 pi cp 3.0
Oh, Seunghwan 3693 pi cp 1.0 Burnes, Corbin 4029 pi mr cp 3.0
Cuevas, Noel 4015 rf 1.0 Jeffress, Jeremy 3473 pi cp 2.0
Murphy, Tom 4030 ph 1.0 Davies, Zach 3581 pi sp 1.0
Broxton, Keon 3785 cf 1.0
Santana, Domingo 3507 rf 1.0
Albers, Matt 2274 pi cp 1.0
Arcia, Orlando 3717 ss 1.0
Phillips, Brett 3914 rf 1.0
Woodruff, Brandon 3868 pi mr 1.0
Barnes, Jacob 3941 pi cp 1.0
Totals 106.0 Totals 132.4
What are those numbers after players' names?

NL Division Series, Game 1: Braves at Dodgers

The Braves rank ninth in Box-Toppers team rankings (116.3 Box-Toppers points), while the Dodgers rank sixth (128.0 points). The Braves rank fourth among NL teams while the Dodgers rank second.

The Dodgers had a stronger finish to the season, picking up 9.7 Box-Toppers points since Sept. 20 (which included 2.0 points earned in the NL West tiebreaker game Monday). The Braves earned 6.0 points in the season’s final 10 days.

The pitching matchup Thursday:

Braves—Mike Foltynewicz, 13.7 Box-Toppers points, 22nd among all players, eighth among NL pitchers.

Dodgers—Hyun-Jin Ryu, 10.1 Box-Toppers points, 49th among all players, 26th among NL pitchers.

Foltynewicz is the Braves top-ranked player in Box-Toppers season player rankings. The Dodgers used their top-ranked player, Walker Buehler as starting pitcher in Monday’s tiebreaker game. Buehler earned Box-Toppers Player of the Day honors. Buehler had 15.1 Box-Toppers points on the season, 16th among all players and sixth among NL pitchers.

The Braves top-ranked batter is outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. with 9.2 Box-Toppers points, 58th among all players and fourth among NL batters.

The Dodgers top-ranked batter is shortstop Manny Machado with 5.7 Box-Toppers points, 158th among all players and 27th among NL batters. 

The Box-Toppers point totals of all players on the teams’ active rosters at season’s end are below. Players who did not earn Box-Toppers points in 2018 are not listed.

Among those not earning points in 2018 is Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers. While Bellinger played in 162 games in 2018, he was not a Box-Toppers Player of the Game in any of them. In 2017, he earned 8.7 Box-Toppers points to lead all NL rookies, though he played in 30 fewer games, earning NL Rookie of the Year honors.

Braves vs. Dodgers

Here are players for both teams in the NL Division Series beginning Thursday. Players are listed for both teams ranked by Box-Toppers points earned in 2018. All players listed were on active Major or Minor League rosters at the end of the season—not necessarily all of them will be included on postseason rosters.

Atlanta Braves Los Angeles Dodgers
Player Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Foltynewicz, Mike 3455 pi sp 13.7 Buehler, Walker 3943 pi sp 15.1
Teheran, Julio 3176 pi sp 12.7 Maeda, Kenta 3609 pi sp mr 10.7
Newcomb, Sean 3831 pi sp 11.4 Ryu, Hyun-Jin 3139 pi sp 10.1
Acuña, Ronald Jr. 3947 lf 9.2 Hill, Rich 2215 pi sp 9.7
Sanchez, Anibal 2187 pi sp 8.4 Stripling, Ross 3629 pi sp 8.7
Freeman, Freddie 2887 1b 7.5 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp 8.0
Minter, A.J. 3946 pi cp 5.0 Machado, Manny 3087 ss 5.7
Duvall, Adam 3573 lf ph 4.5 Wood, Alex 3246 pi sp 5.0
Swanson, Dansby 3751 ss 4.5 Puig, Yasiel 3193 rf 5.0
Duda, Lucas 2818 dh 1b 4.0 Pederson, Joc 3621 lf cf 5.0
Gausman, Kevin 3191 pi sp 3.7 Ferguson, Caleb 4006 pi mr 5.0
Flowers, Tyler 3101 ca 3.2 Kemp, Matt 2151 lf 4.5
Adams, Lane 3850 rf cf ph pr 3.0 Freese, David 2710 3b 1b 4.5
Culberson, Charlie 3324 lf 2b ph 3.0 Grandal, Yasmani 3058 ca 4.5
Soroka, Mike 3956 pi sp 3.0 Muncy, Max 3969 3b lf 2b 1b 4.5
Inciarte, Ender 3360 cf 2.0 Hernandez, Enrique 3541 ss rf cf 2b 3.0
Suzuki, Kurt 2344 ca 2.0 Dozier, Brian 3219 2b 2.5
McCarthy, Brandon 2082 pi sp 2.0 Utley, Chase 1861 2b ph 2.5
Albies, Ozzie 3953 2b 2.0 Jansen, Kenley 2871 pi cp 2.0
Biddle, Jesse 4013 pi mr 2.0 Turner, Justin 2865 3b 2.0
Flaherty, Ryan 3211 3b 1.5 Axford, John 2726 pi cp mr 2.0
Vizcaino, Arodys 3533 pi cp 1.0 Seager, Corey 3587 ss 1.0
Markakis, Nick 2116 rf 1.0 Madson, Ryan 1841 pi mr 1.0
Camargo, Johan 3829 3b 1.0 Barnes, Austin 3856 ca 1.0
Wisler, Matt 3522 pi sp 1.0 Cingrani, Tony 3158 pi mr cp 1.0
Freeman, Sam 3423 pi mr 1.0 Hudson, Dan 2776 pi mr 1.0
Venters, Jonny 2735 pi cp 1.0 Garcia, Yimi 3440 pi mr 1.0
Freid, Max 4011 pi sp 1.0 Farmer, Kyle 4003 1b ph 1.0
Wilson, Bryse 4048 pi sp 1.0 Floro, Dylan 3970 pi cp 1.0
Totals 116.3 Totals 128.0
What are those numbers after players' names?