Strasburg tops players for Saturday, Aug. 31, extends B-T lead among NL pitchers; Pujols reaches 200 career points

Box-Toppers Daily Scorecard graphic.png

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is Saturday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day, extending his lead among National League pitchers in season player rankings.

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2019 season through the games of Aug. 31.
 
Player Pos Team BTP
1 Cole, Gerrit 3232 pi sp hou al 22.5
2 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 21.8
3 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 18.7
4 Hader, Josh 3881 pi cp mil nl 16.7
5 Bieber, Shane 4005 pi sp cle al 16.1
6 Morton, Charlie 2503 pi sp tb al 15.8
7 Ryu, Hyun-Jin 3139 pi sp lad nl 15.4
8 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 14.4
9 Corbin, Patrick 3027 sp pi dc nl 14.4
10 Buehler, Walker 3943 pi sp lad nl 14.4
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations

Also Saturday, Albert Pujols of the Angels becomes the sixth player—and first batter—to reach 200 career Box-Toppers points since player tracking began in 1995. Pujols rises to sixth place on Box-Toppers’ “all-time” career points list, passing Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.

In addition Saturday, Brewers pitcher Josh Hader rises to fourth place in Box-Toppers season player rankings after earning his first Player of the Game honor in more than a month.

Player of the Day—Strasburg struck out 14 over eight scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks, in the 7-0 win over the Marlins.

Strasburg earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day, giving him 18.7 for the season, maintaining his third-place spot in season player rankings, behind Astros pitchers Gerrit Cole (22.5) and Justin Verlander (21.8). He increases his lead among NL pitchers, ahead of second-place Hader (16.7), who also earned 1.0 point Saturday as Player of the Game.

Strasburg had a Box-Toppers game score Saturday of +20.0, the highest for any Player of the Game so far this season (2,036 games have been completed). The previous high game score for a Player of the Game in 2019 was +19.0 achieved May 19 by Indians pitcher Shane Bieber (CG 5H 0R 0BB 15K W in the 10-0 win over the Orioles).

Strasburg now has 130.8 career Box-Toppers points, rising to 34th place among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. With his 2.0 points Saturday, he passes two players on the “all-time” list—Vladimir Guerrero (128.3) and Trevor Hoffman (129.4). Strasburg trails 33rd-ranked player, Red Sox pitcher David Price (131.0). Strasburg ranks 13th among active players in career points.

American League Player of the Day—Ronny Rodriguez of the Tigers hit two homers and went 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in five runs, in the 7-0 win over the Marlins.

National League Batter of the Day—Kevin Newman of the Pirates homered and went 3-for-5, scoring three times and driving in two runs, in the 11-4 win over the Rockies.

This is the third time in the past week Newman has earned NL Batter of the Day honors. He made his Box-Toppers debut Sunday, Aug. 25 earning NL Batter of the Day honors (2B 4-4 3R BI in the 9-8 win over the Reds). He did it again Thursday, Aug. 29 (2HR 2B 4-4 2R 4BI in the 11-8 win over the Rockies). Newman has 4.5 Box-Toppers points for his career, for the season and for the past week. He ranks 38th among NL batters and fifth among NL shortstops in 2019.

American League Batter of the Day—There is no separate AL Batter of the Day for Saturday because the overall AL Player of the Day is batter Ronny Rodriguez.

All-time leaders

Here are Box-Toppers top 20 players since record keeping began in 1995:
 

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Randy Johnson pi sp retired 278.8
2 Pedro Martinez pi sp retired 244.8
3 Clayton Kershaw pi sp lad nl 226.5
4 CC Sabathia pi sp nyy al 203.4
5 Zack Greinke pi sp hou al 202.4
6 Albert Pujols 1b dh ana al 200.8
7 Justin Verlander pi sp hou al 199.9
8 Max Scherzer pi sp dc nl 196.2
9 Curt Schilling pi sp retired 194.1
10 Alex Rodriguez dh retired 187.0
11 Felix Hernandez pi sp sea al 174.1
12 Cole Hamels pi sp chi nl 172.2
13 Jon Lester pi sp chi nl 171.6
14 Roy Halladay pi sp retired 170.7
15 Manny Ramirez lf dh retired 167.2
16 Johan Santana pi sp retired 166.6
17 Roger Clemens pi sp retired 164.8
18 John Smoltz pi sp retired 160.9
19 Tim Hudson pi sp retired 157.0
20 Bartolo Colon pi sp free agent 155.9
BTP: Box-Toppers points
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations
List of top 100 players since 1995 as of the 2019 All-Star break.

Pujols—Albert Pujols of the Angels becomes the sixth player—and first batter—to reach 200 career Box-Toppers points after earning Player of the Game honors Saturday.

Pujols (HR 2B 2-4 2R 3BI in the 10-4 win over the Red Sox) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 200.8 career points, rising to sixth place among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. He passes Astros pitcher Justin Verlander (199.9) on the “all-time” list. The two have traded sixth- and seventh-place spots on the list a couple of times this season—Verlander had just passed Pujols on the list Tuesday. Pujols now trails fifth-ranked player, Astros pitcher Zack Greinke (202.4), who has not earned points since July 5, when he was still with the Diamondbacks. Passing Verlander, Pujols ranks fourth among active players in career points.

Pujols now has 10.0 Box-Toppers points on the season, 35th-most among all players in 2019 and fourth among AL batters. It is his first 10-point season since 2011 when he had 12.5 points with the Cardinals (second among NL batters). This is Pujols’s 10th season with 10 points. Pujols led NL batters in Box-Toppers points in five seasons, most among any batter since 1995. His best season was 2009 with the Cardinals, when he had 16.7 points, first among NL batters.

Pujols becomes the 35th player this season with 10 Box-Toppers points and the fifth batter. In 2018, there were 52 players—including five batters—with 10 or more points. The fewest number of batters to reach 10 points in as season since 1995 is five—in 2014 and 2018. In 1997, 1999 and 2000 there were 28 batters each season to earn 10 or more points, the record high.

Best seasons by closers

Josh Hader of the Brewers has the third-most Box-Toppers points by a closing pitcher in any single season since tracking of closers began in 1998. Here are the closing pitchers with the most Box-Toppers points in a single season, led by Eric Gagne of the Dodgers, who earned 19.7 points in 2004.

Player Team Year BTP
1 Eric Gagne Dodgers 2004 19.7
2 Eric Gagne Dodgers 2003 19.0
3 * Josh Hader Brewers 2019 16.7
4 Billy Wagner Astros 1999 15.0
4 Craig Kimbrel Braves 2012 15.0
6 Troy Percival Angels 1998 14.0
6 Mariano Rivera Yankees 2008 14.0
6 Aroldis Chapman Reds 2012 14.0
9 Brad Lidge Astros 2004 13.7
10 Eric Gagne Dodgers 2002 13.0
10 Billy Wagner Braves 2010 13.0
* Current season.

Hader—Brewers pitcher Josh Hader rises from sixth to fourth place in Box-Toppers season player rankings after earning Player of the Game honors Saturday.

Hader (1.2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K Sv in the 2-0 win over the Cubs) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 16.7 for the season. He maintains his second-place spot among NL pitchers, behind Saturday’s Player of the Day Strasburg (18.7).

This is Hader’s first Box-Toppers point since July 24 and only his second Player of the Game honor since June 27. At the halfway point of the season, Hader was on pace to shatter the record for most Box-Toppers points by a closer in a season of 19.7 (since 1998) set by Eric Gagne of the Dodgers in 2004. But now Hader’s only earned 2.0 points in the second half of the season with four weeks left in the season and trails the record by 3.0 points.

Hader’s 16.7 Box-Toppers points is the third-most by any closer in a single season (since 1998, when relief pitchers began to be tracked separately), behind Gagne’s 2004 total of 19.7 and Gagne’s 2003 total of 19.0.

Debut—Rangers pitcher Jonathan Hernandez made his Box-Toppers debut Saturday with his first career Player of the Game honor.

Hernandez (2.1IP 2H 0R BB 3K ND in the 3-2 win over the Mariners) made his Major League debut Aug. 21 and was playing in his second career game.

Scoring—Strasburg earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Rodriguez earns 1.7 points for being AL Player of the Day. Newman earns 1.5 points for being NL Batter of the Day. All of Saturday’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.

Top player from each game

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

8/31 BTG Game Player AB R H BI IP H R ER BB K
MLB +20.0 WSH 7, MIA 0 Stephen Strasburg (W, 16‑5) 8.0 2 0 0 0 14
AL +5.0 DET 10, MIN 7 Ronny Rodriguez 1B 4 2 2 5
+5.0 `STL 3, CIN 2 Michael Wacha 7.0 3 2 2 2 7
+5.0 NYM 6, PHI 3 Seth Lugo (S, 4) 2.0 1 0 0 0 4
+4.0 TOR 6, HOU 4 Cavan Biggio 2B 3 2 2 3
+4.0 SD 4, SF 1 Kirby Yates (S, 39) 1.0 0 0 0 0 3
+3.2 MIL 2, CHC 0 Josh Hader (S, 27) 1.2 0 0 0 0 2
+3.2 KC 7, BAL 5 Scott Barlow (W, 3‑3) 1.2 0 0 0 0 2
BAT +3.0 PIT 11, COL 4 Kevin Newman SS 5 3 3 2
+3.0 LAA 10, BOS 4 Albert Pujols 1B 4 2 2 3
+3.0 NYY 4, OAK 3 (F/11) Gary Sanchez C 3 2 2 2
+3.0 STL 10, CIN 6 Kolten Wong 2B 3 2 2 2
+2.1 `TEX 3, SEA 2 Jonathan Hernandez 2.1 2 0 0 1 3
+2.0 TB 9, CLE 6 Ji‑Man Choi 1B 4 2 3 1
+2.0 ATL 11, CHW 5 Billy Hamilton CF 3 2 2 1
+1.0 ARI 6, LAD 5 Nick Ahmed SS 3 1 1 2
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 (’19). Also shown are each players’ Box-Toppers point total for this season and last (’18-19), the period 2014-2019 (’14-19) and each players’ career point total. Also shown is how their 2019 Box-Toppers point total compares with their 2018 total (+/-).

Player of the Game Pos Team ’19 ’18‑19 ’14‑19 Career +/‑
Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 18.7 25.4 93.7 130.8 +12.0
Hader, Josh 3881 pi cp mil nl 16.7 28.4 31.4 31.4 +5.0
Pujols, Albert 1438 1b ana al 10.0 13.0 41.0 200.8 +7.0
Yates, Kirby 3628 pi cp sd nl 7.0 12.0 16.0 16.0 +2.0
Ahmed, Nick 3520 ss ari nl 6.2 11.7 15.2 15.2 +0.7
Newman, Kevin 4234 ss pit nl 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 +4.5
Rodriguez, Ronny 4119 ss 1b det al 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2 +4.2
Sanchez, Gary 3701 ca nyy al 4.0 9.5 17.5 17.5 -1.5
Wacha, Michael 3276 pi sp stl nl 4.0 8.0 31.7 34.7 0.0
Biggio, Cavan 4183 2b rf tor al 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 +3.7
Lugo, Seth 3729 pi cp nym nl 3.0 7.0 12.0 12.0 -1.0
Choi, Ji-Man 3990 1b dh tb al 2.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 +0.5
Hamilton, Billy 3287 cf atl nl 1.0 3.0 12.5 13.5 -1.0
Barlow, Scott 3981 pi mr cp kc al 1.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 -1.0
Wong, Kolten 3377 2b stl nl 1.0 2.0 14.5 14.5 0.0
Hernandez, Jonathan 4242 pi mr tex al 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 +1.0
What are those numbers after players' names?
About Box-Toppers’ team abbreviations