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John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Stat of the Week: MLB All-Star Voting vs. Total Runs Leaders

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Who were the players most deserving of being All-Star starters in 2018?

Let’s use Total Runs to put together a pair of teams based on numbers.

Total Runs is a statistic created by Baseball Info Solutions that combines offense, defense, baserunning, and an adjustment that allows for comparison across positions into one number in order to evaluate the total contribution of each player.

The AL dominates the Total Runs leaderboard, with the top six players coming from that league. Mike Trout has 110 runs and stands as the clear MLB leader. Teammates Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, who patrol the left side of the infield for the Indians, are clearly ahead at their respective positions and rank tied for second overall with 101 Total Runs. Mookie Betts (93), Jose Altuve (92) and Aaron Judge (91) round out the top.

The most surprising selection may be Matt Olson of the Athletics, who leads at first base on the strength of his 19 home runs and AL-leading 6 Defensive Runs Saved at that position. The AL is somewhat lacking in standouts at that position, as Olson is tied for 66th overall in MLB with 62 Total Runs.

The race to be the AL starting pitcher could come down to the weekend. For now, Chris Sale leads on our end with 82 Total Runs, but both Justin Verlander (81) and Luis Severino (80) are right with him.

Here’s a look at our AL starters compared to who the fans selected. We match on seven of the selections from the fan voting.

AL All-Star Starters
1BJosé AbreuMatt Olson
2BJosé AltuveJosé Altuve
SSManny MachadoFrancisco Lindor
3BJosé RamirezJosé Ramirez
OFAaron JudgeAaron Judge
OFMike TroutMike Trout
OFMookie BettsMookie Betts
CWilson RamosWilson Ramos
DHJ.D. MartinezJ.D. Martinez
SPN/AChris Sale

In the National League, the Total Runs leader is Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (87), followed by shortstops Trea Turner (84) of the Nationals and Trevor Story (83) of the Rockies, Story’s teammate, third baseman Nolan Arenado (83), and first baseman Freddie Freeman (81) of the Braves.

One of the coolest stories both in the actual All-Star selections and in our picks is Braves right fielder Nick Markakis (76), who will make an All-Star team for the first time in his 13-year career. Markakis is having his best season, standing out both at-bat and in the field. At 34, he has a chance to win his first batting title.

Max Scherzer will almost certainly be the NL starting pitcher considering that the game is in his home ballpark in Washington D.C., but Total Runs actually favors Mets ace, Jacob deGrom (80 Total Runs, two more than Scherzer and Aaron Nola). deGrom leads all pitchers in Total Runs despite pitching for one of the worst teams in the NL.

Here’s a look at our NL starters compared to who the fans selected (we plugged in Story, who had the most Total Runs who wasn’t best at his position, as our DH). We match on three of the selections.

NL All-Star Starters
1BFreddie FreemanFreddie Freeman
2BJavier BáezOzzie Albies
SSBrandon CrawfordTrea Turner
3BNolan ArenadoNolan Arenado
OFBryce HarperDavid Peralta
OFNick MarkakisNick Markakis
OFMatt KempLorenzo Cain
CWillson ContrerasJ.T. Realmuto
DHN/ATrevor Story
SPN/AJacob deGrom

If you would like to see the overall Total Runs leaderboard, it can be found at Bill James Online.

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