Astros’ Gerrit Cole, Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka top players in Saturday's pair of ALDS games

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Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole and Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka are Saturday’s Box-Toppers top players in a pair of American League Division Series games.

ALDS Game 2: Astros 3, Rays 1

Cole struck out 15 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk, earning Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors.

Cole had 32.2 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, first among all players and first among AL pitchers. It is also the fourth-highest single-season point total in Box-Toppers tracking history, going back to 1995 (the highest is 33.7 by Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks in both 2000 and 2002).

Cole had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+17.2) among Astros players. Third baseman Alex Bregman had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+1.0) among Astros batters (HR 2-4 2R BI). 

Both starting pitchers were Box-Toppers Player of the Year winners in each of the last two seasons. Cole in 2019 with 32.2 Box-Toppers points and Rays pitcher Blake Snell, who led players in 2018 with 27.2 points (he had 10.0 points in 2019). Snell had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+2.1) among Rays players (3.1IP 4H R 0BB 5K L).

The Astros now lead the best-of-five game series, 2-0, which resumes Monday in Tampa Bay.

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

ALDS Game 2: Yankees 8, Twins 2

Tanaka struck out seven over five innings, allowing one run, three hits and one walk, earning Player of the Game honors.

Tanaka had 9.7 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, 52nd among all players, 20th among AL pitchers.

Tanaka had a Box-Toppers game score of +6.0, highest among all Yankees players. Shortstop Didi Gregorius had the highest Box-Toppers game score (+4.0) among Yankees batters (GS 2-3 R 4BI).

Twins starting pitcher Randy Dobnak had a Box-Toppers game score of -14.0 (2IP 6H 4R 2BB 0K L). Catcher Mitch Garver had the highest Box-Toppers game score (0.0) among Twins players (2-4 R BI).

The Yankees now lead the best-of-five game series, 2-0, which resumes Monday in Minnesota.

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

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
+17.2 HOU 3, TB 1 Gerrit Cole (W, 1‑0) 7.2 4 0 0 1 15
+6.0 NYY 8, MIN 2 Masahiro Tanaka (W, 1‑0) 5.0 3 1 1 1 7
BTG—Box-Toppers game score
` Pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.

Coming Sunday: The National League Division Series playoffs resume with two Game 3s:

NLDS Game 3: Braves at Cardinals, series tied, 1-1

The pitching matchup Sunday:

Braves—Mike Soroka, 11.4 Box-Toppers points, 34th among all players, 16th among NL pitchers.

Cardinals—Adam Wainwright, 7.4 Box-Toppers points, 102nd among all players, 42nd among NL pitchers.

See the Box-Toppers point totals of all Cardinals and Braves players who earned Player of the Game honors in 2019.

NLDS Game 3: Dodgers at Nationals, series tied, 1-1

The pitching matchup Sunday:

Dodgers—Hyun-Jin Ryu, 17.4 Box-Toppers points, 10th among all players, fourth among NL pitchers.

Nationals—Anibal Sanchez, 7.0 Box-Toppers points, 104th among all players, 43rd among NL pitchers.

See the Box-Toppers point totals of all Nationals and Dodgers 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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