The RPM Report — July 16, 2018 (week 16)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
6 min readJul 17, 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 15), 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.

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 16 — July 9th through July 15th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including July 15th 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 16)

Top starting pitchers for week 16: July 9th through July 15th

Three returners this week and Sale makes his 3rd appearance on this list! A tight 2.71 RPM range separates these contenders meaning it was a tight race for everyone. Duffy makes the list with nearly twice the batters faced as the next highest player!

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -48 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 16)

Top relief pitchers for week 16: July 9th through July 15th

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.

Here we are, half way through the season officially, and we’ve got an entirely new batch of top 10 relievers! Very interesting to see! An RPM range of 7.6 separates these players.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -93.8.

The Top 10 Batters (week 16)

Top batters for week 16: July 9th through July 15th

We’ve got Ramirez at the top with his 3rd top 10. We also see Bregman and Ramos return, the latter for a third time as well. Ramirez, Betts and Bregman are all in the top 25 this week. The RPM range slims even more than last week to just under 6. Ramirez and Betts have a strong RPM lead over 3rd place and on who are all quite tight.

The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -50.8.

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 16th of July.

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

Top 25 Players to July 16th

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of July 16th 2018

The king has fallen! After 10 weeks of topping the charts, Mike Trout’s dominance has ended, all hail the new king: Jose Ramirez! Roughly the same space separates Ramirez from Trout as Trout to 3rd place Betts, back up from 6th last week. J.D. Martinez slides down from 2nd to 4th and Bregman leaping from 11th to 7th.

Manny Machado makes the leap from 24th to 16th, while in the pitching department only two players remain on the board: Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer.

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 10 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.

Not a lot of changes from last week. Schoop jumps another 150 spots, Kluber goes from 38 to 59, Abreu loses 116 spots, dozier gains 28.

This week we hold steady at 10 players back in the top 25.

Team Rankings as of July 16th

We are half way through the season and we see a number of small changes, but more than that a lot of teams not budging at all. Boston has jumped to the top and finally overtaken Houston, but it’s still fairly close, a smaller game separates them than did last week.

The biggest drops of the week are Seattle and Detroit, both at 3 spots, while the largest gain is only 2 spots by a mere 4 teams. In the bottom 5, San Diego and Miami trade places, but the rest remains the same.

The Most Overpaid To July 16th

Professional sports are famously known for over paying people for what they bring to the table and that’s not likely to stop anytime soon, so let’s take a look at who the top 25 overpaid players are in terms of what their performance brings to the table.

When determining if a player is overpaid, we are strictly taking into account only their performance within their own team! Some top players have low salaries and still appear to be overpaid, but this is only within the context of their team’s total payroll. For example, Joey Votto’s salary accounts for 22.9% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 4.92% of the team’s total success! This is still a pretty high number when the median % for Cincinnati is 2.41%.

This chart remains fairly consistent week to week. We can see a few players improving slightly in what their earned salaries are worth as they continue to contribute more to their teams, while others slide as their teams pick up the slack.

One thing to think about when looking at this is that some teams have much larger payrolls then the next meaning that the teams on the lower end who still pay large salaries are risking much more of their capital on a single player.

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.