The RPM Report — May 21, 2018 (week 8)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
6 min readMay 22, 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 7), 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:

  1. The previous week’s best performers (week 8 — May 14 through May 20th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including May 20th 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 8)

Top starting pitchers for week 8: May 14th through May 20th

This week we see 2 returning pitchers: Justin Verlander with the highest batters faced of the crew and Nick Pivetta just scraping by in 10th place. The RPM gap has widened this week by nearly two points. Verlander is currently in the top 25 overall players, sitting in 5th place and is currently the top pitcher in the league!

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -32 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 8)

Top relief pitchers for week 8: May 14th through May 20th

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 batch of new best relievers this week. The max RPM this week is 52.07 vs last week’s 30.83 and the range went from 9 to 33! Huge changes and a huge gap in performance!

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -66.6.

The Top 10 Batters (week 8)

Top batters for week 8: May 14th through May 20th

From all new last week to three returning batters this week! Belt, Haniger, and Martinez are all currently in the top 25 players overall and only Martinez has made this list before.

Three of the top 10 are from the Cubs this week. The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -51.76.

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 21st 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 21st

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of May 21st 2018

Mike Trout is still the king now three weeks in a row, and Mookie Betts has climbed to number two while the previous second place Aaron Judge has sunk down to 6th. Kluber has crawled back onto the list as one of the only 4 pitchers.

Jed Lowrie and Just Verlander keep moving on up, meanwhile Machado and Herrera have fallen a bit.

Things to note: a “rating of 0” is average, with positive values representing above average performance and negative values below average performance. Justified 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 10 players (ranks highlighted in yellow) are still in the top 25! The rankings will change as the season moves forward.

Blackmon has caught himself from his fall, moving back up from 40 last week, while Votto is at a standstill. Paul Goldschmidt fell 100 spots last week and climbed back 105 this week. Mookie has climbed up to 2nd this week. Schoop’s fallen about 200 spots since last week. Stanton slips and Abreu makes a come back from 222 last week.

This week we are up to 10 players back in the top 25, up from 8 last week.

Team Rankings as of May 21st

The top 10 teams have remained mostly consistent, with a few teams shifting and a few holding true. A lot of teams have moved up by 3 positions this week, while a few have fallen by that or more, with Toronto taking the biggest hit of -5. This week also brings a number of teams in the bottom staying in the same positions as well.

The Most Overpaid To May 21st

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.

Top 25 most overpaid players in terms of performance as of May 21st 2018

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…

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.