September 27, 2012
The Race for the Triple Crown, Pt. 2
Winning the Triple Crown is hard.
As Miguel Cabrera is showing, it's plenty difficult even when you're leading the league in all three categories with less than two weeks to go. When we looked at the American League batting race on Sunday, Cabrera was tied for the lead league with 42 home runs, he held a commanding lead in the RBI category (he led by 8), and his .332 average led Mike Trout's .325 by seven points.
In only four days, Cabrera has fallen out of the home run lead, one behind Josh Hamilton (43 to 42) and tied with Edwin Encarnacion (things might be a little different if Alex Gordon hadn't made this fantastic play on Wednesday). Adam Dunn is also right behind him with 41 home runs. The RBI lead has increased to nine, but the batting average race has changed considerably. Minnesota's Joe Mauer has pushed himself into the conversation, passing Trout by only .0006 points. They're both hitting .323, but Mauer is at .3232 while Trout is only at .3226. Meanwhile, Cabrera's 3-for-20 batting line this week has dropped his average to .327 (actually .3266).
Let's see what these three candidates need to do to end with the batting crown next week. Cabrera's Tigers and Trout's Angels have seven games left to play, while Mauer's Twins have six. We'll assume four at-bats per remaining game for each player.
For Cabrera to win...
And for Trout to win...
We'll check back once more next week if the race remains close.