Chris Davis Getty

Chris Davis has the most homers through 83 games since Barry Bonds


Chris Davis went deep again last night, giving him 31 homers through the Orioles’ first 83 games. Not only does that put Davis on pace for 61 homers this season, he has the most homers through 83 team games since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 39 and Luis Gonzalez had 35.

Here’s the all-time leaderboard from

Barry Bonds       2001     39
Mark McGwire      1998     37
Babe Ruth         1921     35
Luis Gonzalez     2001     35
Jimmie Foxx       1932     34
Babe Ruth         1928     34
Reggie Jackson    1969     34
Roger Maris       1961     33
Ken Griffey Jr.   1998     33
Sammy Sosa        1998     33
Sammy Sosa        1999     32
Ken Griffey Jr.   1994     32
Babe Ruth         1930     32
CHRIS DAVIS       2013     31

Davis also finished last season on a power binge and in his last 89 games he’s hit .335 with 38 homers, 93 RBIs, and a .765 slugging percentage.

Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon
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I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.

First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:

+24 Cubs
+21 Rangers
+16 Astros
+15 Diamondbacks
+13 Twins
+11 Mets
+10 Blue Jays
+10 Cardinals
+10 Pirates

The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, eight made the playoffs. Only the Twins improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.

Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:

-20 Athletics
-16 Tigers
-15 Orioles
-14 Brewers
-13 Nationals
-13 Angels
-12 Braves
-12 Reds
-11 Mariners

Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.

The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.

Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.

It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.