Box-Toppers top 10 players in 2018 includes 8 AL pitchers; WAR top 10 has none

American League pitchers occupied eight of the top 10 spots in Box-Toppers’ 2018 season player rankings. But there were no AL pitchers among the top 10 in baseball’s Wins Above Replacement statistic.

AL teams dominated baseball in 2018 with three of its teams winning 100 or more games (Red Sox, Astros and Yankees), the Red Sox cruised to a relatively easy World Series win and it was AL pitchers who most helped those teams win all those games.

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7 of top 10 strikeout leaders for 2018 are also among top 10 in season Box-Toppers points

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who led National League players in Box-Toppers points in 2018, led all pitchers in strikeouts in 2018.

In fact, seven of the overall top 10-ranked players in 2018 Box-Toppers points are among the top 10 season strikeout leaders. And all 10 strikeout leaders rank among the top 17 players in 2018 Box-Toppers points.

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Twins’ Jose Berrios tops players in Thursday, March 28's opening day games

Twins pitcher Jose Berrios is Box-Toppers Player of the Day in Thursday’s Opening Day games.

Berrios struck out 10 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk, in the 2-0 win over the Indians.

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Wins leader Blake Snell also led players in Box-Toppers points in 2018

Blake Snell of the Rays, who led all pitchers in wins in 2018 with 21, also led all players in Box-Toppers points during the season with 27.2.

Six of the overall top 11 players in Box-Toppers points in 2018 are also among the top 11 pitchers in wins for the season. Plus, all 11 pitchers leading in wins are among the overall top 40 players in Box-Toppers points for the season.

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A correction: Rays' Blake Snell leads by wider margin after fixing errors in 2018 Box-Toppers stats

Striving to create a more perfect Box-Toppers, I discovered some errors in player tracking in 2018 and have been correcting them in recent weeks.

There were 10 total errors I discovered that changed the Box-Toppers point totals for 17 different players. Those errors were discovered after re-examining about one-third of the 2,430 games played in the 2018 season. So in other words, after looking at about 830 games, I found 10 errors.

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An overview of Box-Toppers category leaders over several time frames after 2018

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer leads two of Box-Toppers’ four main leaderboards and came within 2.1 Box-Toppers points of leading three of the four after the 2018 season.

Scherzer has the most Box-Toppers points of any player over the past two seasons (50.1 over 2017 and 2018) and the most points of any player over the past six seasons (137.0 from 2013 to 2018). Scherzer finished second in overall points in 2018 with 25.1, just behind leader Rays pitcher Blake Snell (27.2).

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A look at Box-Toppers season-by-season AL & NL pitching & batting leaders, 1995-2018

Analyzing 24 years of Box-Toppers points leaders in pitching & batting in both leagues

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Max Scherzer leads players in Box-Toppers points since start of 2013

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer leads players in Box-Toppers points since the start of 2013.

Scherzer has 137.0 Box-Toppers points over the period 2013-2018, just 2.6 points ahead of Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who has 134.4 points over that span.

In fact, Scherzer unseats Kershaw from atop the six-year rolling Box-Toppers point total, a spot Kershaw has held at the end of each season since 2013, five straight seasons.

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Max Scherzer leads players in Box-Toppers points over past 2 seasons

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer has more Box-Toppers points over the past two seasons than any other player.

Scherzer has earned 50.1 Box-Toppers points over 2017 and 2018. He ranked second among all players in both seasons.

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A look at Box-Toppers top 100 players of 'all-time' after the 2018 season

Randy Johnson leads all players in career Box-Toppers points and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The most likely rival to Johnson’s throne at the moment is Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw who has 214.8 career Box-Toppers points, third among all players since 1995 and most among active players. 

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A look at Box-Toppers' top 100 players for 2017-18 and 2013-18

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer is Box-Toppers’ top-ranked player over both the past two seasons and past six seasons.

Scherzer has the most Box-Toppers points over the past two seasons (50.1 over 2017 and 2018) and the most points over the past six seasons (137.0 from 2013 to 2018).

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Box-Toppers points leader Snell wins AL Cy Young; deGrom wins NL Cy Young despite his numbers

Rays pitcher Blake Snell, who led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2018, was voted the American League Cy Young Award winner Wednesday.

But Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, who won the National League Cy Young Award, ranked third in Box-Toppers points among NL pitchers and in fact, needed another half season worth of points to catch Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who led NL pitchers.

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A look at Box-Toppers’ top 100 players for 2018

Blake Snell tops Box-Toppers list of the top 100 players in 2018.

The Rays pitcher had 27.2 Box-Toppers points during the regular season, which is the 12th-highest single-season point total since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began.

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Box-Toppers 2018 year-end All-Star teams

The Box-Toppers All-Star teams for the 2018 regular season are led by overall Box-Toppers points leader, Rays pitcher Blake Snell.

The American League and National League All-Star teams are composed of the players with the highest Box-Toppers point totals by position in each league. In addition to the batters—eight in the NL and nine (including the designated hitter) in the AL—are the top four starting pitchers in each league and the top closing pitcher.

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Eduardo Nunez tops players in World Series Game 1, as Red Sox take a 1-0 lead over Dodgers

Eduardo Nunez of the Red Sox is Box-Toppers Player of the Game in Tuesday’s World Series Game 1.

The Boston Red Sox win 8-4 to take a 1-0 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-seven game series.

Nunez hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh inning, extending the Red Sox lead to 8-4.

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Astros’ Verlander, Dodgers’ Baez top players in Saturday's League Championship Series games

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and Dodgers pitcher Pedro Baez are Box-Toppers’ top players in Saturday’s pair of League Championship Series games.

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Brandon Woodruff tops players in Friday's NLCS opener, as Brewers beat Dodgers in Game 1

Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff is Friday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Game in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

Woodruff struck out four over two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and no walks, in the 6-5 win over the Dodgers. The Brewers take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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ALCS preview: Red Sox hold Box-Toppers advantages in series, but defending champ Astros may be better than last year

The Boston Red Sox hold nearly all the advantages over the Houston Astros in the coming American League Championship Series.

But the Astros are the defending World Series champions and return in 2018 with a largely unchanged roster and even more wins than they had last season (103 vs. 101).

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