The RPM Report — May 28, 2018 (week 9)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
6 min readMay 29, 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 8), 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 9 — May 21st through May 27th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including May 27th 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 9)

Top starting pitchers for week 9: May 21st through May 27th

Only one returning pitcher this week with Kenta Maeda. Jacob deGrom, a frequent top 25 player make this list for the first time. The RPM gap grows from 4 to 7 this week, expanding both the high end and low.

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -43 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 9)

Top relief pitchers for week 9: May 21st through May 27th

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.

We’ve got two returning best relievers this week with Dominguez and Morrow. The massive RPM range from last week dropped from 33 to 13 and from a high of 52.07 to 29.75.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -87.7.

The Top 10 Batters (week 9)

Top batters for week 9: May 21st through May 27th

Another three returning batters with the our top player in the league ranking 1st! Trout, Shaw, Gennett, and Ramirez all grace our top 25 list this week. We’ve been seeing some of the best batters each week top the overall best player charts as well.

The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -57.6.

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 28th 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 28th

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of May 28th 2018

Four weeks of dominance for Mike Trout and two weeks now with Betts in second. Judge is yo-yoing between 3rd and 6th, trying to keep up there, while Martinez is also fighting to stay at the top. Trout’s rating gives him a monstrous lead compared to the next highest player.

The player composition this week is mostly similar to last week, although we’ve seen the pitcher count sink from 4 to 2 players this week, possibly due to some adjustments we’ve made to our algorithm weightings and values.

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

Altuve is back in the ring after falling out last week, while Sale drops out. Rendon and Dozier are making come backs by cutting their positions from last week in half, and Schoop knocked a 3rd of his rank off from last week as well. Yelich has jumped up nearly 500 spots this week, and Goldschmidt around 150.

This week we are at 9 players back in the top 25, down from 10 last week.

Team Rankings as of May 28th

The top 4 spots have all shifted around a bit, while 5th and 6th hold steady. This week sees Milwaukee jump up 7 positions, while St. Louis, Arizona, and the Mets take the biggest falls. Toronto starts to dig itself back out of it’s slump while the bottom 5 all trade places with each other.

The Most Overpaid To May 28th

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 28th 2018

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 23.15% of Cincinnati entire yearly payroll, and despite how good he is, his overall performance only accounts for 5.33% of the team’s total success! This is still a pretty high number when the median % for Cincinnati is 2.67%.

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.