The RPM Report — September 3, 2018 (week 23)

Ivan Lukianchuk
Published in
5 min readSep 5, 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 22), 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. Do we use Park Effect? Yes, read more 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 week’s best performers (week 23 — August 27th through September 2nd)
  2. All regular season data up to and including September 2nd 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 23)

Top starting pitchers for week 23: August 27th through September 2nd

We see only 2 returners this week, a big change from last week’s 6! Kluber makes his 3rd appearance and LeBlanc his 2nd. A range of only 2.5 RPMs separate these 10 players.

The lowest starting pitcher RPM total of the week was -28.5 RPMs.

The Top 10 Relief Pitchers (week 23)

Top relief pitchers for week 23: August 27th through September 2nd

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.

From 6 returners down to 2 this week, much like the starters! Perez makes his 4th appearance and Treinen his 2nd. A large gap of around 18 RPMs separate these pitchers, up from 10 last week.

For reference, the lowest Relief Pitcher RPM value this week was -73.5.

The Top 10 Batters (week 23)

Top batters for week 23: August 27th through September 2nd

Half new, half old, with 3 returners making their 3rd appearance, and 2 making their 2nd. Yelich, Betts, and Bregman are in the top 25 this week. An RPM range of just over 6 separates these batters.

The lowest RPM for this week was -51.1.

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 3rd of September.

We’ve got a number of interesting charts ranging from top players, team rankings and most overpaid players.

Top 25 Players to September 3rd

Top 25 players in the MLB regular season as of September 3rd 2018

Ramirez and Martinez still hold spots 1 and 2 with Betts back above Trout for number 3. Spots 5 through 9 haven’t moved, while Harper climbs 1 spot to 10 and Suarez 3 to 11 with Lindor hot on his tail at 12 also jumping 3 spots. We see a few new players jump onto the charts, like Yelich and Gennett.

Our 2 pitchers remain as Sale and deGrom, however deGrom has hopped 4 spots up the leaderboard, while Sale has fallen 2.

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

Blackmon jumps to 29, getting closer to reclaiming a top 25 spot again. Yelich regains his glory as he ranks in at 22 this week. Kluber cuts 1/5 of his rank, while Altuve 16 spots. Schoop and Gordon fall into the 400s, while Andrus cuts his number in half and then some.

This week we go up to 9 players in the top 25.

Team Rankings as of September 3rd

Not a lot of changes at all this week. Atlanta and the Cubs trade spots, but are at the same team rating down to a few decimal points. Pittsburgh falls 2 spots as does Minnesota, while Toronto gains 2 spots. Meanwhile at the bottom, the Royals finally overtake Baltimore to climb out of the bottom spot.

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.