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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Miguel Cabrera: doing the impossible ... again.

Miguel Cabrera is proving me wrong.  I had done extensive research and concluded that a batter leading his league/conference in home runs (HR), runs batted in (RBI) and batting average (BA) in the same season had become almost impossible in large part because of expansion since 1961.  In other words, there are just too many other players: twice as many in the National and about 80% more in the American than in 1960.

Source:

The odds against Cabrera this season are even greater than last because Major Baseball League  (MBL) Commissioner Allen Huber "Bud" Selig again moved a team from one entity to another.  For this season Selig moved Houston from the National Conference to the American Conference.  This increased the number of American Conference teams from 14 to 15.  Despite all that Cabrera is proving me wrong again.

Here are the current American Conference leaders in triple crown stats.

Batting Average (BA):
1.Cabrera (DET).357
2.Trout (LAA).331
3.Beltre (TEX).326
4.Mauer (MIN).324
5.Ortiz (BOS).316
6.Cano (NYY).305
7.Peralta (DET).305
8.Hunter (DET).305
9.Loney (TBR).304
10.Pedroia (BOS).302

RBI:
1.Cabrera (DET)130
2.Davis (BAL)118
3.Encarnacion (TOR)97
4.Jones (BAL)95
5.Fielder (DET)90
6.Cano (NYY)85
7.Trumbo (LAA)84
8.Trout (LAA)81
9.Ortiz (BOS)79
Beltre (TEX)79
Dunn (CHW)79

Home Runs (HR):
1.Davis (BAL)46
2.Cabrera (DET)43
3.Encarnacion (TOR)33
4.Dunn (CHW)30
5.Trumbo (LAA)29
6.Longoria (TBR)28
   Bautista (TOR)28
8.Cruz (TEX)27
   Jones (BAL)27
   Beltre (TEX)27

Obviously HR is where Cabrera is the most vulnerable.  Chris Davis has been the shock story of the season.  Davis leads Cabrera by three HR.  Cabrera's Detroit Tigers have played 132 games, so there are 40 remaining.  The Baltimore Orioles of Davis have played 130 games and so have 42 more games.  Davis clearly has the edge but Davis has never been in a position anything like this and who knows how he will perform.

In 1927 Yankees Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were having the first great HR race.  In early September they were tied at 45.  Ruth won 60 to 47.  You just never know.

If Miguel Cabrera were to achieve a second consecutive triple crown his stature would be huge.  HUGE.

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