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 6), 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.
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:
- The previous week’s best performers (week 7 — May 7 through May 13th)
- All regular season data up to and including May 13th 2018.
Table of Contents
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 7)
Another week, another (mostly) fresh crop of best starters! Max Scherzer is the only pitcher from this list who is also in the top 25 players overall. Jake Arrieta’s back and with the most batters faced of the week to boot! The RPM range is still within 3, much like last week, albeit a bit higher this time around.
The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -41.6 RPMs.
The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 7)
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.
This week is full of fresh faces for the best relievers. The max RPM this week is 30.83 vs last week’s 38.36 and the range went from 15 down 9. For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -112.6.
The Top 10 Batters (week 7)
While last week saw 2 returning players, this week it’s all new! Judge, Machado, Herrera, Story, and Bryant are all players in the Top 25 overall players, so I expect to see them hit this chart more often in the future.
Three of the top 10 are from the Cubs this week. The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -59.78.
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 13th of May.
We’ve got a number of interesting charts ranging from top players, team rankings and most overpaid players.
Top 25 Players to May 13th
Mike Trout has held on to his spot at the top after grabbing it last week, but his huge Rating lead has shrunk as Judge jumped from spot 11 to spot 2 with a Rating 100 points higher. We’ve gone down to 5 pitchers from 7 this week seeing Scherzer climb to 25 while Cole and Verlander still have an impressive lead. Kluber and deGrom have fallen off the list.
Machado made his leap from 13 to 4 this week and Lowrie is starting to fall behind. Herrera bounced into 6 from off the charts last week. Harper jumped from 17th to 9th this week and Bryant’s climbed back into the charts.
Things to note: a “rating of 0” is average, 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, 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.
Blackmon is continuing to fall behind, while Votto is starting to catch back up. Paul Goldschmidt just fell 100 spots and Mookie is holding true at 3rd this week. Schoop’s recovering from his 803 spot last week and we’ll see if he can keep it up. Stanton’s making decent gains and closing back in while Altuve is slipping.
Team Rankings as of May 13th
The top two teams are neck and neck with their overall ratings, but 3 games separate them. Likewise with 3rd and 4th place, it’s very close. The Cubs have made a nice jump up to 5th, and likewise traded places with Arizona who is now in 10th. A trio of teams at ranks 11, 12, and 13 have all climbed up 4 rungs together and at 16 the Twins have jumped 6 spots from 22 last week.
Toronto and Oakland have both slid down 5 spots, as did Tampa Bay and San Francisco. The bottom 7 teams have been clawing over each other, trying to get out, but no one has made much progress except for Cincinnati.
The Most Overpaid To May 13th
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.
This chart remains fairly consistent week to week. We can see a few players improving slightly in what their justified 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…
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You can learn more about the RunPlusMinus™️ statistic at RunPlusMinus.com