The RPM Report — May 7, 2018 (week 6)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
6 min readMay 8, 2018


Hi all, I’m Ivan Lukianchuk, the CTO and co-founder of RunPlusMinus™️and this is our third weekly report about performances of Major League Baseball players and teams.

For last week’s report (week 5), 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 6— April 30 through May 6th)
  2. All regular season data up to and including May 6th 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 6)

Top starting pitchers for week 6: April 30th through May 6th

This week we have a whole new crop of starting pitchers in our weekly top 10. It just goes to show that one week can be wildly different to the next for each pitcher. Last week’s RPMs ranged from 15–18 and now we’ve seen it shift down to 13–16! Both Cole and deGrom are in the top 25 players overall.

There must be something in the water in New York as 3 of the top 10 are from the Yankees and 1 is from the Mets! The least effective starting pitcher in week 6 had -48.8 RPMs which is fairly consistent with last week.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 6)

Top relief pitchers for week 6: April 30th through May 6th

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 Daniel Winkler’s second appearance in the top 10. The RPMs this week have a wider range of 15 vs 10 last week. For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was a whopping -129.48 which is quite far from last week’s -71.48.

The Top 10 Batters (week 6)

Top batters for week 6: April 30th through May 6th

Mike Trout batts his way back to the top 10 and all the way to the top with more than double the RPMs of half the other folks on the chart! This is two weeks in a row for J.D. Martinez making the top 10. The lowest RPM for a batter in week 6 was -58.86.

Trout, Markakis and Matrinez are all in the top 25 players of the season overall as of may 7th.

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 7th 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 7th

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of May 7th 2018

Mike Trout has gone from 2nd to best player of the season so far. His batting rating is through the roof at 700, where last week the top batting rating (by Lowrie) was 433! Not only that, but Trout’s overall rating has jumped to 307 from 180! The next highest at 227.9 climbed only 9 points from the previous week.

Both Verlander and Cole overtook Sean Manaea this week to be the best pitchers on the board. We can see some pitcher clumping near the bottom as their performance levels are very similar.

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

Where are they now? Our top 25 list from 2017 and where they stand in 2018 as of May 7th 2018

Paul Goldschmidt has fallen out of the top 25 this week by nearly 60 spots! Altuve also made the slip out of the top 25, but just barely. As predicted last week, Joey Votto has made his leap back into the top 25 at spot 25 from 598 just two weeks ago! Judge is starting to slip, Trout inches into the crown, and Sale joins the ranks going from 41 to 19.

Team Rankings as of May 7th

Week 6 shows us that the bottom 8 and top 5 teams aren’t seeing much significant movement. We’ve seen some big jumps from the Angels and Nationals, while the biggest falls are from the Mets and Pirates.

The Most Overpaid To May 7th

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 7th 2018

This chart remains fairly consistent week to week. So let’s take a look at Trout, who is now the best player in the league. Even though he is the best, we show him as being paid twice as much as he’s earned. What that means is that the level of performance he brings to his team compared to his team mates shows his true value performance wise.

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.