Verlander, Strasburg among top players in Friday's four league division series games

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In four league division series playoff games Friday these are Box-Toppers Players of the Game:

  • Astros pitcher Justin Verlander is top player in Friday’s 6-2 win over the Braves.

  • Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz is top player in Friday’s 3-0 win over the Cardinals.

  • Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is top player in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Dodgers.

  • DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees is top player in Friday’s 10-4 win over the Twins.

ALDS Game 1: Astros 6, Rays 2

Verlander struck out eight over seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks.

Verlander had 27.5 Box-Toppers points in 2019, second among all players, second among American League pitchers and second among all Astros players, behind Gerrit Cole (32.2) in all instances.

Verlander ranks fifth among all players in career Box-Toppers points (205.6) since player tracking began in 1995. He ranks third among active players in career points.

Verlander had a Box-Toppers game score Friday of +11.0, most among all Astros players. Third baseman Alex Bregman had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+1.0) among Astros batters (2B 1-2 2R 0BI).

NLDS Game 2: Braves 3, Cardinals 0

Foltynewicz struck out seven over seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks.

Foltynewicz had 5.0 Box-Toppers points in 2019, 166th among all players, 58th among National League pitchers. In 2018, Foltynewicz had 13.7 points, eighth among NL pitchers.

Foltynewicz had a Box-Toppers game score Friday of +11.0, highest among all Braves players. Pinch-hitter and leftfielder Adam Duvall had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+3.0) among Braves batters (HR 1-1 R 2BI).

The Braves tie the best-of-five-game series, 1-1, which resumes Sunday in St. Louis.

NLDS Game 2: Nationals 4, Dodgers 2

Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings, allowing one run, three hits and no walks.

Strasburg had 20.7 Box-Toppers points in 2019, third among all players, first among NL pitchers.

Strasburg had a Box-Toppers game score of +11.0, highest among all Nationals players. Pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+1.0) among Nationals batters (1-1 0R BI).

Strasburg was also Player of the Game in the Nationals’ win Tuesday in the NL Wild Card Game. He is the first player to earn Player of the Game honors twice in the postseason.

The Nationals tie the best-of-five-game series, 1-1, which resumes Sunday in Washington.

ALDS Game 1: Yankees 10, Twins 4

LeMahieu homered, doubled and went 3-for-5, scoring twice and driving in four runs.

LeMahieu had 3.5 Box-Toppers points in 2019, 284th among all players and 64th among American League batters.

LeMahieu had a Box-Toppers game score of +4.0, highest among all Yankees players. Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton had a Box-Toppers game score of +0.2 (4.2IP 5H 3R BB 8K ND).

Interestingly, three of the four Player of the Game winners all had Box-Toppers game scores of +11.0.

If this were a normal regular season day, overall Player of the Day would be Verlander, even though all three had +11.0 game scores. Verlander ranks ahead of both Foltynewicz and Strasburg on a tie breaker because he has more innings pitched than Strasburg (seven vs. six) and more strikeouts than Foltynewicz (eight vs. seven). Foltynewicz ranks ahead of Strasburg because he has more innings pitched (seven vs. six) and so, were this a regular season day, would edge out Strasburg to earn NL Player of the Day.

No Box-Toppers points are awarded in the postseason, but if it were the regular season, Verlander would earn 2.0 points as Player of the Day, Foltynewicz would earn 1.7 points as NL Player of the Day and Strasburg would earn 1.0 with no bonus points as Player of the Game, despite all three having the same Box-Toppers game score of +11.0.

Top player from each game

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

BTG Game Player AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
+11.0 HOU 6, TB 2 Justin Verlander (W, 1‑0) 7.0 1 0 0 3 8
+11.0 ATL 3, STL 0 Mike Foltynewicz (W, 1‑0) 7.0 3 0 0 0 7
+11.0 WSH 4, LAD 2 Stephen Strasburg (W, 2‑0) 6.0 3 1 1 0 10
+4.0 NYY 10, MIN 4 DJ LeMahieu 1B 5 2 3 4
BTG—Box-Toppers game score
` Pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.

Coming Saturday: The American League Division Series playoffs resume with two Game 2s:

ALDS Game 2: Yankees lead Twins, 1-0

The pitching matchup Saturday:

Twins—Randy Dobnak, 1.0 Box-Toppers point, 709th among all players, 176th among AL pitchers.

Yankees—Masahiro Tanaka, 9.7 Box-Toppers points, 52nd among all players, 20th among AL pitchers.

See the season Box-Toppers point totals of all Twins and Yankees players who earned Player of the Game honors in 2019.

ALDS Game 2: Astros lead Rays, 1-0

The pitching matchup Saturday:

Rays—Blake Snell, 10.0 Box-Toppers points, 45th among all players, 19th among AL pitchers.

Astros—Gerrit Cole, 32.2 Box-Toppers points, first among all players, first among AL pitchers.

This is a matchup between Box-Toppers Player of the Year from 2018 (Snell, who led all players that season with 27.2 Box-Toppers points) and Box-Toppers Player of the Year from 2019 (Cole, who led players this season with 32.2 points).

See the season Box-Toppers point totals of all Rays and Astros players who earned Player of the Game honors in 2019.

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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