Cubs’ Hendricks tops players for Friday, April 19; Astros’ Verlander passes Scherzer on career points list

Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks is Friday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Also Friday, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander rises to third place in Box-Toppers season player rankings and rises to ninth place in Box-Toppers points among all players since 1995, passing former teammate, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who had passed Verlander on the career points list nearly two years ago.

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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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Astros’ Verlander tops player for Saturday, April 13; Sabathia earns Box-Toppers points in 19th straight season, tying all-time record

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander is Saturday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day, rising to ninth in season player rankings.

Also Saturday, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia ties Box-Toppers’ all-time record by earning at least 1.0 Box-Toppers point in 19 straight seasons after earning Player of the Game honors.

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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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Rays’ Blake Snell tops players for Tuesday, April 2; Dodgers’ Bellinger extends lead in season player rankings

Rays pitcher Blake Snell is Tuesday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day.

Also Tuesday, Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers extends his lead in Box-Toppers season player rankings after earning Player of the Game honors for the third time already in the first week of the season.

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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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An opening day introduction to Box-Toppers, starting 25th season tracking players

As the 2019 Major League Baseball season opens, Box-Toppers begins its 25th season tracking who most helps their teams win the most games, based on box score statistics. Here is an introduction to Box-Toppers.

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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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Postseason awards wrap-up: How Box-Toppers leaders fared in 2018's major season honors

Depending on how you look at it, Box-Toppers points leaders took home two (or three or four) of the six major postseason awards for 2018.

There were two awards won outright by Box-Toppers points leaders in their categories:

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Yelich wins NL MVP & led NL batters in Box-Toppers points; Betts wins AL MVP, was 2nd among AL batters in B-T points

Christian Yelich of the Brewers, who led National League batters in Box-Toppers points in 2018 with 11.5, was voted NL Most Valuable Player Thursday.

And Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, who ranked second among American League batters in Box-Toppers points with 10.9, was voted AL Most Valuable Player. Teammate J.D. Martinez, who led AL batters with 12.5 Box-Toppers points, finished fourth in AL MVP voting.

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