The RPM Report — July 2, 2018 (week 14)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Jul 4, 2018 · 6 min read

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 13), 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 14 — June 25th through July 2nd)
  2. All regular season data up to and including July 1st 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 14)

Only 2 returning starters this week, but a rare occurrence so far is seeing someone hit the top 10 weekly 3 times! While Stanek has significantly less batters faced then the other top 10 contenders, he really made it count. The RPM gap this week is quite tight at under 3, noticing that the bottom 7 are all within one RPM of each other.

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -41.8 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 14)

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.

Another treat is seeing another player hit the top 10 for the third time, along with two other returners. The RPM range shrinks even further from last week down to 7.5.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -98.5.

The Top 10 Batters (week 14)

We are already at week 14 and we are still seeing 9 out of 10 batters hitting the top weekly for the first time! Lowrie makes his second appearance. Three Cubs grace the list this week. The RPM range this week has gone up more than double last week’s to just under 7.

The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -51.


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 2nd 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 2nd

Nine weeks straight that Mike Trout has kept on top of the pack, still with a healthy lead. Ramirez and Martinez keep a hold of 2nd and 3rd place from last week, while Judge dives into 4th and Altuve falls from 4th to 10th. Jed Lowrie jumps 7 spots into 8th, while Betts climbs back up to 5th, knocking Arenado down one rank. Albies returns to the charts at 15th.

Pitcherwise, Verlander is still the best, but his lead has fallen drastically with Severino popping onto the charts quickly approaching Verlander’s Rating. Sale joins the charts not that far behind, knocking deGrom and Kluber off the top 25.

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.

Blackmon falls from grace, but still 7 of the top 9 are still on the charts. Not a lot of changes this week, but Ozuna falls 100 spots, and Kluber tumbled from 20 to 49.

This week we are at 10 players back in the top 25, down from 11 last week.

Team Rankings as of July 2nd

Some shuffling in the middle, but not too many big changes this week. Houston keeps their strong lead, Atlanta and Boston trade places, but are neck and neck, while the Cubs and Cleveland continue to yo-yo. Oakland continues to climb up from the bottom, while many teams in the middle trade places. The bottom continues to remain mostly the same.

The Most Overpaid To July 2nd

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 22.87% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 5% 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 info@runplusminus.com

You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at RunPlusMinus.com

RunPlusMinus

The best baseball stat

Ivan Lukianchuk

Written by

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

RunPlusMinus

The best baseball stat

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