Josh Hamilton’s triple crown chances: pretty darn good, all things considered

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It’s ESPN Insider, but Dan Szymborski has a column up today assessing Josh Hamilton’s triple crown chances. While normally that’s pie in the sky stuff, as Dan notes, Hamilton winning the triple crown is more like pie on a moderately high shelf territory.

He ran 100,000 simulations of the remainder of the season, taking Hamilton’s historic norms and projections for this season going forward, and …

After all the numbers are crunched, Hamilton remains essentially a coin-flip to lead the league in each of the Triple Crown categories … In the 100,000 seasons played, Hamilton won the Triple Crown 16.1 percent of the time, terrific odds for such a difficult feat.

Hamilton’s historically shaky health is the key, but Dan bakes that into the projections. Indeed, some time on the DL would actually help his odds of winning the batting title. What he really needs to avoid is an extended stay which would put him in a hole in the counting stats.

I wouldn’t bet on it, but people do bet on things often bet on stuff with worse odds.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.