The RPM Report — August 20, 2018 (week 21)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
5 min readAug 20, 2018


Hi all, I’m Ivan Lukianchuk, the CTO and co-founder of RunPlusMinus™️and this is our weekly report about performances of Major League Baseball players and teams.

For last week’s report (week 20), click here.

The RPM Report gives you a unique insight into on-field performances based on the new RunPlusMinus™️ statistic. For more information about this statistic, please go here.

Wondering how we differ from WAR? Read this. Do we use Park Effect? Yes, read more here.

TL;DR — We’ve built a new baseball statistic that allows us to rate all of the players (pitchers, batters, runners, fielders) on the same scale: performance.

This report has two parts:

  1. The week’s best performers (week 21 — August 13th through August 19th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including August 19th 2018.

The Best Players of the Week

We’ve reported the top 10 best pitchers and batters of the week. There are separate rankings for starting and relief pitchers.

Players are ranked on the RPM statistic. A total above zero means above average performance for the pitcher or batter. The RPMs in the report have been multiplied by 100 to make it easier to read and compare. The higher the number, the more value and impact that player brought to their team in their role as a pitcher or batter.

In each top 10 list we show how many times a player has made it into a weekly top 10 list, with 1 meaning this is their first.

The Top 10 Starting Pitchers (week 21)

Top starting pitchers for week 21: August 13th through August 19th

Only three returners this week, but 2 of them make their 3rd appearances. No top 25 players this week and our RPM range shrinks to just under 3.

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -49.8 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 21)

Top relief pitchers for week 21: August 13th through August 19th

Not all relief pitcher situations (outs and bases-occupied) are equal threats. Furthermore, relief pitchers generally face fewer batters that starters. Relief pitcher ratings exclude pitchers with fewer than 3 batters faced.

From a mostly fresh batch last week to half returners this week, although only Dominguez makes his 3rd reappearance. The top two spots are both held by Philly this week. Just over 12 RPMs separate these relievers this week, down from 19 last week.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was a whopping -142.5!

The Top 10 Batters (week 21)

Top batters for week 21: August 13th through August 19th

Our top player is currently the top batter of the week, making his 4th appearance in the weekly top 10s! Three other returners hit the chart this week with Castellanos the only other top 25 player. We see three players from the Mets on the chart this week and an RPM range of only 4 separating all the players.

The lowest RPM for this week was -45.3.

The State of the Game so Far

We’ve looked at last week, but let’s take a look at the entire season so far up to the 20th of August.

We’ve got a number of interesting charts ranging from top players, team rankings and most overpaid players.

Top 25 Players to August 20th

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of August 20th 2018

Jose Ramirez stays glued to the top with a difference of nearly 100 from 2nd place J.D. Martinez who hopped over Betts from 3rd. Betts is super hot on the trail of Martinez however, with Trout slipping a bit further behind the pack. Goldschmidt hops to 5th from 7th last week, pushing Carpenter down 1 spot. Bregman stepped past Judge to hit 7th, while Judge slides down to 12th. Bogaerts hops from 15th to 8th. Lots of movements this week in the top 25!

We see deGrom overtake Sale to cement himself as the best overall pitching player and best pitcher.

Things to note: a “rating of 0” is always the average over all active players, with positive values representing above average performance and negative values below average performance. Earned salary is how much of the team’s total salary did that player’s performance justify. Bolded payroll earned means a player is worth more than they are paid (in the context of their own team), and italicized and red means they aren’t. Blank ratings mean the player did not meet a minimum level of participation to be ranked on a specific component.

Where Are They Now? 2017 Top 25 to 2018

2017 brought us over 48 million data points and from that we derived the top 25 player list. How do those players rate in 2018? Below is a chart showing where each player stands today. Note that only 8 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.

Votto has fallen out of the top 25, bringing the count down to just 8 players again in the top 25 from last year. Not a lot of big movements this week with most players slightly gaining or losing ground.

This week we drop to 8 players in the top 25.

Team Rankings as of August 20th

The top 5 remain the same this week with hardly any changes at all in the top 10! St. Louis jumps another 2 spots, same as last week, while Philly continues to fall again. A bit of shifting in the middle as teams crawl over each other, and as usual the bottom 10 hardly budge.

Until next time…

Stay tuned for our future reports due out every week this season. If you want to be reminded whenever we release new content, please subscribe to our mailing list to be kept up to date!

If you have any questions, comments, requests or complaints, please feel free to add them in the comments below or to email us at

You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at



Ivan Lukianchuk

Entrepreneur, Metalhead, Computer Scientist. Currently CTO @RunPlusMinus — The best baseball stat. Principal Consultant at Strattenburg.