The RPM Report — July 9, 2018 (week 15)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Jul 10, 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 14), 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 15 — July 2nd through July 8th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including July 8th 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 15)

Top starting pitchers for week 15: July 2nd through July 8th

This seems to be the week for returning starting pitchers and we see Stanek hitting the charts for the 4th time, a new record so far this season! Stanek was in the top 10 last week as well. Sale and Rodriguez make their returns for the second time, both bringing glory to Boston. We see that both the Angels and Tampa Bay also have 2 starters as well this week.

An RPM range of about 3.75 is all that separates the top 10, with the top 3 contenders all very close to each other. The bottom 5 are also extremely tightly packed.

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -47.6 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 15)

Top relief pitchers for week 15: July 2nd through July 8th

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.

A mostly new batch of top relievers this week, seeing only Mayers and McGee return for their second times each. The RPM Range shrinks a tad this week to about 6.5.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -72.7.

The Top 10 Batters (week 15)

Top batters for week 15: July 2nd through July 8th

Goldschmidt and Lindor, two current top 25 players are the only to make their return to the top weekly batters, and only for the second time each. Suarez also graces the top 25 this week. The RPM range this week slims slightly to about 6.

The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -55.

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 9th 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 9th

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of July 9th 2018

The last two thirds of the 2018 MLB season have had Mike Trout dominate, and there is no end in sight it seems! This week Ramirez and Martinez trade places while Suarez leapfrogs over both Betts and Judge, pushing them each down by one. Goldschmit climbs five spots while Arenado tumbles down from 6th to 9th.

Severino is out, deGrom is back in with Sale popping up into 2nd best pitcher territory in regards to overall players, although we see our pitchers sliding further down the charts.

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 improves his rank by 25%, Schoop jumps 170 spots, Ozuna 100 spots, and Kluber 11. Abreu falls 94 spots and everyone else hardly moves up or down.

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

Team Rankings as of July 9th

Atlanta falls two spots, pushing both Boston and the Cubs up by one. Houston’s large lead has shrunk by a big margin and they are close to getting overtaken by Boston. The Cubs and Atlanta are neck and neck, with the Yankees close behind. Last week Atlanta and Boston were neck and neck, but it seems Boston really pulled ahead while Atlanta fell from grace Ratings wise.

There aren’t a lot of other big changes, except Colorado jumping 3 spots and Pittsburgh falling 4. The bottom six remain the same.

The Most Overpaid To July 9th

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 22.89% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 4.88% 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!

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