American League Division Series feature 4 of Box-Toppers’ top 5-ranked teams

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Four of the top five teams in Box-Toppers team rankings square off in two American League Division Series beginning Friday.

One series includes the top two teams in Box-Toppers team rankings—the top-ranked Boston Red Sox and the second-ranked New York Yankees. If all teams qualifying for the postseason were seeded, these two would be in separate brackets in a hoped-for World Series best-of-seven game matchup. Instead, the two AL East teams meet in a best-of-five game semi-final to another semi-final.

The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians face off in the other AL Division Series. The defending World Series champion Astros ranks fourth in Box-Toppers team rankings and the Indians, who Box-Toppers picked to win the World Series in 2018, rank fifth. 

The only NL team among the top five is the Milwaukee Brewers, who rank third.

AL Division Series, Game 1: Indians at Astros

The Indians rank fifth in Box-Toppers team rankings (128.3 Box-Toppers points), while the Astros rank fourth (132.2 points).

The Astros finished the season slightly stronger than the Indians, picking up 10.7 Box-Toppers points since Sept. 20, while the Indians picked up 7.7.

The pitching matchup Friday:

Indians—Corey Kluber, 21.7 Box-Toppers points, fourth among all players, third among AL pitchers.

Astros—Justin Verlander, 24.1 Box-Toppers points, third among all players, second among AL pitchers.

This is a match-up of the postseason’s top two pitchers in Box-Toppers season player rankings. The top two—Blake Snell of the Rays (25.5) and Max Scherzer of the Nationals (25.1)—did not make the playoffs.

Both Kluber and Verlander are their teams’ highest-ranked player in 2018 Box-Toppers rankings.

Unlike makeshift playoff pitching matchups in previous days, in which managers sometimes cobbled together relievers to just get outs, this is a classic powerhouse pitching matchup. Both teams have had the opportunity to rest since last playing Sunday and both teams have four starters each among the top 42 players in Box-Toppers season players, all of whom have at least 10.7 Box-Toppers points.

The Indians top batter is Francisco Lindor with 9.6 Box-Toppers points, third among AL batters.

The Astros top batter is Alex Bregman with 6.2 Box-Toppers points, 16th among AL 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 notable Indians players with no Box-Toppers points in 2018 are Josh Donaldson, Melky Cabrera and Mike Napoli.

Indians vs. Astros

Here are players for both teams in the AL Division Series beginning Friday. 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.

Cleveland Indians Houston Astros
Player Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp 21.7 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp 24.1
Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp 19.8 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp 18.0
Bauer, Trevor 3065 pi sp 14.1 Morton, Charlie 2503 pi sp 14.8
Clevinger, Mike 3707 pi sp 13.7 McCullers, Lance 3488 pi sp 10.7
Lindor, Francisco 3586 ss 9.6 Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp 6.7
Hand, Brad 2907 pi cp 7.0 Bregman, Alex 3721 3b 6.2
Encarnacion, Edwin 2098 dh 6.5 Maldonado, Martin 3082 ca 5.5
Bieber, Shane 4005 pi sp 6.4 Springer, George 3337 rf 4.5
Ramirez, Jose 3436 3b 6.0 Gattis, Evan 3179 dh 4.5
Alonso, Yonder 2945 1b 3.5 Peacock, Brad 2968 pi mr 4.0
Gomes, Yan 3177 ca 2.5 Altuve, Jose 3007 2b 3.5
Martin, Leonys 3053 cf 2.5 Correa, Carlos 3506 ss 3.0
Allen, Cody 3265 pi cp mr 2.0 Osuna, Roberto 3512 pi cp 3.0
Perez, Roberto 3379 ca 2.0 McHugh, Collin 3316 pi mr cp 3.0
Kipnis, Jason 2933 2b 1.5 James, Josh 4059 pi sp 3.0
Allen, Greg 4036 cf 1.5 Gurriel, Yuli 3796 1b 2.7
Chisenhall, Lonnie 2959 rf 1.0 Reddick, Josh 2936 rf lf 2.5
Tomlin, Josh 2771 pi cp sp 1.0 Kemp, Tony 3973 cf 2.5
Diaz, Yandy 3896 dh 1.0 Gonzalez, Marwin 3078 lf 2.0
Brantley, Michael 2785 lf 1.0 Marisnick, Jake 3428 cf 2.0
Guyer, Brandon 3363 rf ph 1.0 Rondon, Hector 3201 pi cp 2.0
Gonzalez, Erik 3960 3b 1.0 Valdez, Framber 4048 pi mr 2.0
Olson, Tyler 4083 pi cp 1.0 Sipp, Tony 2852 pi mr 1.0
Plutko, Adam 3975 pi sp 1.0 Stassi, Max 4038 ca 1.0
Totals 128.3 Totals 132.2
What are those numbers after players' names?

AL Division Series, Game 1: Yankees at Red Sox

The Yankees rank second in Box-Toppers team rankings (135.2 Box-Toppers points), while the Red Sox rank first (143.6 points).

The Red Sox have held the overall team lead since early August, but the Yankees finished the season slightly stronger, picking up 8.7 Box-Toppers points since Sept. 20, while the Red Sox picked up 5.0.

The pitching matchup Friday:

Yankees—J.A. Happ, 15.7 Box-Toppers points, 14th among all players, 10th among AL pitchers.

Red Sox—Chris Sale, 21.1 Box-Toppers points, fifth among all players, fourth among AL pitchers.

Sale leads all Red Sox players in Box-Toppers points. Top Red Sox batter is J.D. Martinez (12.5 points), who led all batters in Box-Toppers points in 2018, ranking 28th overall.

Top Yankees player in Box-Toppers points is pitcher Luis Severino (17.7), who ranked 11th among all players and eighth among AL pitchers. Top Yankees batter is Giancarlo Stanton (6.5), who ranked 11th among AL 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.

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.

Box-Toppers strives for accuracy. See a mistake in a post? A wrong name, wrong team, grammar error, spelling goof, etc.? Thanks for pointing it out! Contact Box-Toppers here. Let's fix it and make it right.

Yankees vs. Red Sox

Here are players for both teams in the AL Division Series beginning Friday. 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.

New York Yankees Boston Red Sox
Player  Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp 17.7 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp 21.1
Happ, J.A. 2536 pi sp 15.7 Price, David 2593 pi sp 14.4
Tanaka, Masahiro 3305 pi sp 13.4 Rodriguez, Eduardo 3480 pi sp 13.1
Gray, Sonny 3259 pi sp 8.7 Martinez, J.D. 2922 lf dh rf 12.5
German, Domingo 3957 pi sp 8.0 Porcello, Rick 2573 pi sp 11.4
Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp 7.7 Betts, Mookie 3404 rf 10.9
Stanton, Giancarlo 2737 dh rf lf 6.5 Eovaldi, Nathan 2928 pi sp 8.7
Sanchez, Gary 3701 ca 5.5 Kimbrel, Craig 2825 pi cp 7.0
Gardner, Brett 2486 cf lf 5.5 Kinsler, Ian 2144 2b 6.0
Judge, Aaron 3767 rf 5.0 Bogaerts, Xander 3383 ss 5.5
Hicks, Aaron 3170 cf 5.0 Benintendi, Andrew 3815 lf cf 4.5
Betances, Dellin 3333 pi cp mr 4.0 Moreland, Mitch 2799 1b 3.5
Chapman, Aroldis 2826 pi cp 4.0 Bradley, Jackie Jr. 3293 cf lf 3.5
Voit, Luke 4053 1b 4.0 Holt, Brock 3340 2b 1b ph 3.5
McCutchen, Andrew 2637 rf cf 3.5 Pearce, Steve 2371 dh 1b lf ph 3.0
Andujar, Miguel 3839 3b 3.5 Devers, Rafael 4038 3b 2.5
Lynn, Lance 2992 pi sp 3.0 Vazquez, Christian 3380 ca 2.0
Robertson, David 2774 pi mr cp 3.0 Barnes, Matt 3466 pi mr cp 2.0
Gregorius, Didi 3184 ss 3.0 Velazquez, Hector 3853 pi cp mr 2.0
Cole, A.J. 3727 pi cp mr 2.0 Wright, Steven 3224 pi sp 2.0
Loaisiga, Jonathan 3998 pi sp 2.0 Travis, Sam 4081 lf 1.5
Torres, Gleyber 3972 2b 1.5 Leon, Sandy 3676 ca 1.0
Bird, Greg 3562 1b 1.0 Phillips, Brandon 1691 2b 3b 1.0
Walker, Neil 2756 1b 2b 1.0 Swihart, Blake 3565 ca ph 1.0
Britton, Zach 2835 pi cp 1.0
Totals 135.2 Totals 143.6
What are those numbers after players' names?