Box-Toppers’ NL Division Series previews: Cardinals vs. Braves, Nationals vs. Dodgers

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Both National League Division Series begin Thursday.

The NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals face the NL East champion Atlanta Braves in one best-of-five game series and the NL Wild Card champion Washington Nationals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers, champions of the NL West in the other series.

NL Division Series, Game 1: Cardinals at Braves

The Cardinals rank 12th in Box-Toppers team rankings (105.8 Box-Toppers points), while the Braves rank eighth (112.7 points). Now that the Milwaukee Brewers are eliminated from the postseason, losing the NL Wild Card game to the Nationals, the Cardinals have the lowest team Box-Toppers point total of remaining playoff teams. The Brewers ranked 14th with 104.9 points.

In the final 10 days of the season, the Cardinals fared somewhat better than the Braves. The Cardinals picked up 5.7 Box-Toppers points from Sept. 20-29, while the Braves picked up 3.0 points over that span (which was tied for the third-lowest among all teams).

The pitching matchup Thursday:

Cardinals—Miles Mikolas, 3.0 Box-Toppers points, 309th among all players, 86th among NL pitchers.

Braves—Dallas Keuchel, 3.7 Box-Toppers points, 266th among all players, 83rd among NL pitchers.

Mikolas had a down season in 2019 after an All-Star year in 2018 in which he earned 11.7 Box-Toppers points, 17th among NL pitchers. Keuchel started the season unsigned before he joined the Braves in June. From 2014 to 2018, Keuchel had at least 6.7 Box-Toppers points per season, including 21.4 in 2015, fourth among all players and first among AL pitchers.

Neither Game 1 starter leads their team in Box-Toppers points. Pitcher Jack Flaherty leads all Cardinals with 16.5 Box-Toppers points, 11th among all players and fifth among NL pitchers. Pitcher Mike Soroka leads all Braves with 11.4 Box-Toppers points, 34th among all players and 16th among NL pitchers.

Both teams’ top batters are among Box-Toppers’ top 10 NL batters in 2019. Leftfielder Marcell Ozuna leads Cardinals batters (12.0 Box-Toppers points, first among NL batters, 29th among all players) and first baseman Freddie Freeman leads Braves batters (10.1 points, fourth among NL batters, 43rd among all players).

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 2019 are not listed.

Cardinals vs. Braves

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 2019. 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.

St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves
Player Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Flaherty, Jack 3971 pi sp 16.5 Soroka, Mike 3956 pi sp 11.4
Ozuna, Marcell 3190 lf 12.0 Freeman, Freddie 2887 1b 10.2
Hudson, Dakota 4035 pi sp 7.7 Fried, Max 4011 pi sp 10.0
Goldschmidt, Paul 2935 1b 7.5 Teheran, Julio 3176 pi sp 8.0
Wainwright, Adam 2150 pi sp 7.4 Jackson, Luke 4139 pi cp 8.0
Fowler, Dexter 2698 cf rf 6.0 Donaldson, Josh 3144 3b 7.5
DeJong, Paul 3827 ss 5.0 Albies, Ozzie 3953 2b 6.5
Gant, John 3660 pi mr 4.7 Riley, Austin 4144 lf 5.5
Martinez, Carlos 3371 pi cp 4.0 Foltynewicz, Mike 3455 pi sp 5.0
Wacha, Michael 3276 pi sp 4.0 Melancon, Mark 2792 pi cp mr 5.0
Brebbia, John 4080 pi mr 4.0 Acuna, Ronald Jr. 3947 lf cf 3.7
Gallegos, Giovanny 4104 pi mr 4.0 Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp 3.7
Mikolas, Miles 3034 pi sp 3.0 Swanson, Dansby 3751 ss 3.5
Martinez, Jose 3830 rf lf 1b ph 3.0 McCann, Brian 2179 ca 3.5
Molina, Yadier 1967 ca 3.0 Newcomb, Sean 3831 pi mr sp 2.7
Ponce de Leon, Daniel 4037 pi sp mr 3.0 Minter, A.J. 3946 pi cp 2.0
Carpenter, Matt 2987 3b 1b ph 2.0 Inciarte, Ender 3360 cf 2.0
Hicks, Jordan 3991 pi mr cp 2.0 Camargo, Johan 3829 3b 2.0
O’Neill, Tyler 4074 lf pr 2.0 Hechavarria, Adeiny 3445 2b 2.0
Wong, Kolten 3377 2b 2.0 Joyce, Matt 2480 rf 1.5
Bader, Harrison 4071 cf 1.0 Duvall, Adam 3573 lf 1.0
Edman, Tommy 4255 rf 3b 1.0 Greene, Shane 3381 pi cp 1.0
Webb, Tyler 4257 pi mr 1.0 Cervelli, Francisco 3387 ca 1.0
Culberson, Charlie 3324 lf 2b ph 1.0
Swarzak, Anthony 2603 pi mr cp 1.0
Hamilton, Billy 3287 cf 1.0
Ortega, Rafael 3746 lf cf 1.0
Martin, Chris 4156 pi mr 1.0
Toussaint, Touki 4110 pi mr 1.0
Totals 105.8 Totals 112.7
What are those numbers after players' names?

NL Division Series, Game 1: Nationals at Dodgers

This series features Box-Toppers’ top two NL teams and two of the top three overall teams.

The Nationals rank second in Box-Toppers team rankings (132.9 Box-Toppers points), while the Dodgers rank third (129.9 points). The Nationals are top among NL teams and the Dodgers are second. Only the Houston Astros in the American League are ranked higher than either team, in first overall with 158.1 Box-Toppers points.

The Nationals also had a stronger finish to the season, picking up 10.5 in the season’s final 10 days (Sept. 20-29), the hottest team over that period. The Dodgers also did well, picking up 8.5 points over that span, fourth-most among all teams.

Nationals—Patrick Corbin, 16.4 Box-Toppers points, 12th among all players, sixth among NL pitchers.

Dodgers—Walker Buehler, 16.4 Box-Toppers points, 13th among all players, seventh among NL pitchers.

Both pitchers finished next to each other in Box-Toppers season player rankings. Both had 16.4 points on the season and Corbin outranked Buehler because he held a narrow edge in 2018 Box-Toppers points (16.0 vs. 15.1).

Neither player leads their team in 2019 Box-Toppers points—both rank second. Pitcher Stephen Strasburg leads Nationals players (20.7 points third among all players, first among NL pitchers). Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu leads Dodgers players (17.4 points, 10th among all players, fourth among NL pitchers). Strasburg pitched three innings of middle relief in the NL Wild Card Game Tuesday and will likely not be available Thursday.

The Nationals top-ranked batter is infielder Asdrubal Cabrera with 9.0 Box-Toppers points, 64th among all players and seventh among NL batters. Cabrera earned 3.5 of his points with the AL Texas Rangers before being released and signed by the Nationals.

The Dodgers top-ranked batter is rightfielder Cody Bellinger with 12.7 Box-Toppers points, 35th among all players and third 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 2019 are not listed.

Nationals 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 2019. 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.

Washington Nationals Los Angeles Dodgers
Player Pos BTP Player Pos BTP
Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp 20.7 Ryu, Hyun-Jin 3139 pi sp 17.4
Corbin, Patrick 3027 pi sp 16.4 Buehler, Walker 3943 pi sp 16.4
Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp 15.4 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp 12.7
Cabrera, Asdrubal 2362 3b 2b 9.0 Bellinger, Cody 3781 rf 11.2
Sanchez, Anibal 2187 pi sp 7.0 Maeda, Kenta 3609 pi sp 8.7
Soto, Juan 3994 lf 6.0 Urias, Julio 3652 pi sp mr cp 6.0
Rendon, Anthony 3258 3b 5.0 Pederson, Joc 3621 lf 5.5
Elias, Roenis 3309 pi cp 5.0 Muncy, Max 3969 1b 2b 5.5
Hudson, Dan 2776 pi mr 5.0 Jansen, Kenley 2871 pi cp 5.0
Suzuki, Kurt 2344 ca 4.5 Turner, Justin 2865 3b 4.5
Kendrick, Howie 2191 1b 2b 4.5 Hill, Rich 2215 pi sp 4.0
Ross, Joe 3499 pi sp 4.0 Stripling, Ross 3629 pi sp 4.0
Robles, Victor 4087 cf rf 3.5 Hernandez, Enrique 3541 2b rf 3.5
Doolittle, Sean 3052 pi cp 3.0 Gonsolin, Tony 4211 pi mr sp 3.0
Turner, Trea 3730 ss 3.0 Smith, Will 4175 ca ph 3.0
Strickland, Hunter 3546 pi cp mr 3.0 Taylor, Chris 3684 ss lf 2.5
Parra, Gerardo 2746 1b rf cf 2.7 Freese, David 2710 1b 3b 2.0
Dozier, Brian 3219 2b 2.5 Gyorko, Jedd 3164 3b ph 2.0
Fedde, Erick 4065 pi mr sp 2.0 Baez, Pedro 3678 pi mr 2.0
Voth, Austin 4082 pi sp 2.0 May, Dustin 4214 pi sp 2.0
Rainey, Tanner 4153 pi mr 2.0 Sadler, Casey 4205 pi mr cp 2.0
Adams, Matt 3220 1b 1.7 Verdugo, Alex 4129 rf cf 2.0
Hellickson, Jeremy 2778 pi sp 1.0 Pollock, A.J. 3142 cf 1.0
Zimmerman, Ryan 2180 1b 1.0 Seager, Corey 3587 ss 1.0
Eaton, Adam 3253 rf 1.0 Martin, Russell 2202 ca 1.0
Guerra, Javy 2925 pi cp sp 1.0 Kelly, Joe 3066 pi cp sp 1.0
Holland, Greg 2906 pi cp 1.0 Lux, Gavin 4247 3b 1.0
Totals 132.9 Totals 129.9
What are those numbers after players' names?