In case you don’t watch, attend, or like Major League Baseball, let me take the time to tell you why you need to start paying closer attention to the old pastime. In September of last year, baseball crowned its first triple crown winner in 45 years, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Carl Yastrzemski was the last to win the award for batting domination in 1967 with the league’s best batting average, home runs, and RBIs.
Not into baseball nostalgia, then what if I told you that for the first time ever in baseball history Cabrera has the chance to become the first player in history to win the award in back-to-back years? He could also be the third player to win twice and join legends like Ted Williams and Roger Hornsby.
Add to the equation a legitimate challenger for the triple crown in a once top prospect turned trade-piece player Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. Both players just wrapped up a three game series on June 2nd against each other. Do I have your interest now?
What Cabrera has been able to do since the All-Star break last season is truly impressive. Ironically, after the cleansing of baseball locker rooms from PEDs we now have a player that has been able to have the hitting stroke to be in this position. Cabrera currently has the league’s best batting average of .369 and the most RBIs with 65 in 55 games. At his current pace he could capture another elusive baseball record for most RBIs set by Hack Wilson in 1930.
Miguel (17) is second in homeruns to Chris Davis (20) however. Davis also has a batting average of .357 with 52 RBIs, both second in the league to Cabrera. Davis’s bat has been the biggest surprise of the two. He has a slugging percentage of .754, a league best by almost .100.
The RBI total will the hardest stat for Davis to gain an advantage. The Tigers just have better hitters in the lineup than the Orioles, which means more chances for Cabrera to drive runs in. Davis is more of a pure slugger. It’s feast or famine at the plate for him evidenced by his 54 strikeouts. That may seem small, but it is 18 more than Cabrera and with a race this close every at-bat counts.
Davis hit a homerun in the 7th inning on June 2nd to give his Orioles the win for the game and the series. Cabrera for the series put up 6 RBIs and 2 HRs total. With over 100 games left in the season this race is just getting started.