The latest on Miguel Cabrera’s chase for the Triple Crown:
1. Miguel Cabrera .329
2. Mike Trout .325
3. Joe Mauer .322
Home Run Leaders
1. Miguel Cabrera 44
2. Josh Hamilton 43
3. Edwin Encarnacion 42
1. Miguel Cabrera 137
2. Josh Hamilton 127
Among those leaders, the only player on a team with something left to play for is Hamilton, whose Rangers are trying to fend off the A’s for the AL West. In light of that, one question worth asking is whether Jim Leyland give Cabrera a day off either today or tomorrow?
If the Triple Crown wasn’t on the line it would seem like a no-brainer — rest the horse you rode to get here — but with such a slim lead in the home run chase and Hamilton’s ability to hit them in bunches, who knows? Of course a day off could theoretically help him in the batting average race. Though after a 4 for 5 day, he is kinda hot.
Oh well. Something to watch for if you don’t care about the A’s-Rangers or the Cardinals-Dodgers.
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.