Royals’ Jakob Junis tops players for Monday, Sept. 3; Nationals’ Scherzer extends player rankings lead

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(This post was edited Wednesday, November 21, 2018, to correct an error in the Box-Toppers point total of Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. During the 2018 season, an extra, unearned point was added to his total. There is more information about this at the bottom of the post.)

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2018 season through the games of Sept. 3:  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 22.1
2 Snell, Blake 3688 pi sp tb al 19.8
3 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 19.1
4 Nola, Aaron 3569 pi sp phi nl 19.1
5 Severino, Luis 3567 pi sp nyy al 17.7
6 Kluber, Corey 3200 pi sp cle al 16.7
7 Carrasco, Carlos 2885 pi sp cle al 16.4
8 Berrios, Jose 3791 pi sp min al 16.1
9 Paxton, James 3280 pi sp sea al 16.0
10 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp hou al 16.0
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations

Royals pitcher Jakob Junis is Monday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Also Monday, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer extends his lead in Box-Toppers season player rankings after earning Player of the Game honors.

Player of the Day—Junis struck out six over seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks, in the 5-1 win over the Indians.

Junis earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day, giving him 6.0 for the season, 43rd among American League pitchers.

National League Player of the Day—Marlins pitcher Jose Urena struck out seven over seven innings, allowing one run, four hits and no walks, in the 3-1 win over the Phillies.

National League Batter of the Day—Adam Frazier of the Pirates homered, doubled and went 4-for-4, scoring twice and driving in three runs, in the 5-1 win over the Reds.

American League Batter of the Day—There is no separate AL Batter of the Day for Monday because no AL batter earned Player of the Game honors.

Rankings—Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer extends his lead in Box-Toppers season player rankings after earning Player of the Game honors Monday.

Scherzer (7IP 4H 3R BB 11K ND in the 4-3, 10-inning win over the Cardinals) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 22.1 for the season. He leads second-place player, Rays pitcher Blake Snell (19.8). He also leads second-place NL pitcher Aaron Nola of the Phillies (19.1).

Scherzer led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2016 with 25.7. He ranked second in 2017 with 25.0, behind Sale (25.1). Scherzer has finished in the top 10 in Box-Toppers season player rankings seven straight seasons (2012-2017).

Scherzer also now has 178.8 career Box-Toppers points, ninth among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. He trails eighth-ranked player Alex Rodriguez (187.0). Scherzer ranks fifth among active players in career points.

Notable—Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom now has 13.8 Box-Toppers points for the season after earning Player of the Game honors Monday.

deGrom (6IP 2H R BB 6K ND in the 4-2 win over the Dodgers) ranks fourth among NL pitchers in Box-Toppers season player rankings.

Also notable—Seven pitchers earning no decisions earned Player of the Game honors Monday. That’s kind of a lot. It's more than half of the 12 pitchers who earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors Monday.

In most cases, these players were starting pitchers whose team either was not leading when they exited or lost the lead after they exited. Under Box-Toppers rules, pitchers can earn Player of the Game honors if they pitch at least three innings and have the highest Box-Toppers game score on the winning team.

That was the case, for example, for Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who pitched seven innings, but exited with his team trailing, so he was not eligible for the win. However, the Nationals came back and won, so Scherzer’s Box-Toppers game score of +7.0, highest among all Nationals players, earned him Player of the Game honors, despite the no decision.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom likewise exited Monday with the game tied. His lack of run support from his teammates is a seeming common occurrence this season for a player being considered for NL Cy Young despite his win-loss record of 8-8. But since the Mets made a comeback and won, his +7.0 Box-Toppers game score, tops among Mets players despite the no decision, was enough to earn him Player of the Game.

Baseball rules require starting pitchers to have at least five innings to earn the win. Box-Toppers rules require any pitchers to have at least three innings to be considered for Player of the Game. In the case Monday of Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, he started but pitched only 3 1/3 innings (3.1IP 2H 0R 4BB 4K ND), so was not eligible for the win. However, his Box-Toppers game score of +1.1 was best among all Red Sox players and since he pitched at least three innings, he earned Player of the Game honors.

Athletics middle relief pitcher Lou Trivino earned Player of the Game honors with a no decision pitching fewer than three innings (1IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K ND in the 6-3 win over the Yankees). How did he do that? 

On the first pass of the box score, closing pitcher Blake Treinen is considered Player of the Game with a Box-Toppers game score of +1.0 (1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K Sv). Treinen qualifies to earn Player of the Game despite pitching fewer than three innings because he earned the win or save. However, if any other pitcher on his team pitched the same or more innings than he did and also has a higher Box-Toppers game score, then that pitcher is considered Player of the Game. 

There were two pitchers who pitched the same number of innings as Treinen—Trivino and Jeurys Familia. But Familia had a Box-Toppers game score of +1.0, same as Treinen. Were it just between the two of them, Treinen would have been Player of the Game because while they had the same Box-Toppers game score, Treinen held the advantage with the save. But in reality, Trivino won Player of the Game over Treinen because he had a higher Box-Toppers game score (+4.0 vs. +1.0) and the same number of innings pitched over the player who otherwise would be considered Player of the Game.

Scoring—Junis earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Urena earns 1.7 points for being NL Player of the Day. Frazier earns 1.5 points for being NL Batter of the Day. All of Monday’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.

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.

NOTE ABOUT JACOB DEGROM: After this post was published, Box-Toppers discovered an error: Jacob deGrom was credited with 1.0 more Box-Toppers point than he actually earned in 2018. This post has been changed to include deGrom’s actual Box-Toppers point total and player ranking position at the time of this post. Subtracting a point from deGrom’s season total meant he had 16.8 Box-Toppers points, rather than 17.8. Despite the change, he still finished third among National League pitchers. However, the change moves him from ninth place to 12th place in overall season player rankings, moving him out of the top 10 and keeping Yankees pitcher Luis Severino (17.7 points) in the top 10 for the season, in 10th place.

This is made all the more odd and awkward because the error was discovered while compiling the post about deGrom winning the NL Cy Young Award on Wednesday, Nov. 14. deGrom was the near-unanimous choice for the award, but even with his higher, incorrect Box-Toppers point total (17.8), Box-Toppers had him ranked third among NL pitchers, needing nearly 50 percent more points to catch the NL pitching leader, Max Scherzer of the Nationals (25.1).

My post was about how Scherzer was more deserving of the award than the widely acclaimed deGrom because Scherzer actually helped his team win more games. Despite deGrom’s great performances, the Mets lost most of the games he pitched. Since winning is the name of the game and since Box-Toppers points are only awarded in wins, deGrom’s point total was far lower—but it was still remarkable, given all the losses, that he reached as high as third place among NL pitchers. While writing about how deGrom wasn’t as deserving of the award, I found the error (the extra point), and correcting the record (subtracting the point), I found he was even more undeserving.

Top player from each game

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (BTG)

9/3 BTG Game Player AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
MLB +11.0 KC 5, CLE 1 Jakob Junis (W, 8‑12) 7.0 2 0 0 0 6
NL +8.0 MIA 3, PHI 1 Jose Urena (W, 5‑12) 7.0 4 1 1 0 7
+7.0 `WSH 4, STL 3 (F/10) Max Scherzer 7.0 4 3 3 1 11
+7.0 `CHW 4, DET 2 Reynaldo Lopez 7.0 4 1 1 0 6
+7.0 `NYM 4, LAD 2 Jacob deGrom 6.0 2 1 1 1 6
+6.1 SEA 2, BAL 1 Erasmo Ramirez (W, 2‑3) 5.1 2 1 1 0 5
BAT +5.0 PIT 5, CIN 1 Adam Frazier 2B 4 2 4 3
+5.0 COL 9, SF 8 Trevor Story SS 4 2 2 5
+5.0 SD 6, ARI 2 Franmil Reyes RF 3 2 2 4
+5.0 `MIL 4, CHC 3 Zach Davies 5.0 4 1 1 1 7
+5.0 `LAA 3, TEX 1 Matt Shoemaker 5.0 2 0 0 1 3
+4.0 HOU 4, MIN 1 Dallas Keuchel (W, 11‑10) 6.0 5 1 0 2 6
+4.0 `OAK 6, NYY 3 Lou Trivino (H, 20) 1.0 0 0 0 0 3
+3.0 TB 7, TOR 1 Yonny Chirinos (W, 3‑5) 7.0 4 1 1 3 5
+1.1 `BOS 8, ATL 2 Nathan Eovaldi 3.1 2 0 0 4 4
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 Player of the Game winners. Players are ranked by their Box-Toppers point total for the current season (’18). Also shown are each players’ Box-Toppers point total for this season and last (’17-18), the period 2013-2018 (’13-18) and each players’ career point total. Also shown is how their 2018 Box-Toppers point total compares with their 2017 total (+/-).

Player of the Game Pos Team ’18 ’17‑18 ’13‑18 Career +/‑
Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 22.1 47.1 134.0 178.8 -2.9
deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 13.8 29.5 74.6 74.6 -1.9
Trivino, Lou 3939 pi mr cp oak al 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 +8.0
Urena, Jose 3492 pi sp fla nl 7.7 13.7 17.4 17.4 +1.7
Eovaldi, Nathan 2928 pi sp bos al 7.7 7.7 29.8 33.5 +7.7
Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp hou al 6.7 16.1 56.9 58.9 -2.7
Junis, Jakob 3857 pi sp kc al 6.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 +3.0
Lopez, Reynaldo 3712 pi sp mr chi al 3.7 3.7 5.7 5.7 +3.7
Story, Trevor 3607 ss col nl 3.5 6.0 12.5 12.5 +1.0
Reyes, Franmil 4036 rf sd nl 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 +2.7
Ramirez, Erasmo 1786 pi sp sea al 2.0 8.0 19.7 22.7 -4.0
Chirinos, Yonny 4039 pi mr tb al 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 +2.0
Frazier, Adam 3771 2b lf cf pit nl 1.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 -3.0
Davies, Zach 3581 pi sp mil nl 1.0 7.7 16.7 16.7 -5.7
Shoemaker, Matt 3290 pi sp ana al 1.0 4.0 29.4 29.4 -2.0
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations