Hanley Ramirez is the hottest hitter on the planet.
The shortstop went 3-for-4 with a home run and three total RBI in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday night in Los Angeles and is now batting .383/.424/.700 in 66 plate appearances since his return on June 4 from a severe hamstring strain.
And the numbers are even better if you zoom in.
Ramirez has 20 hits — five home runs and three doubles — in his last 44 plate appearances for a batting line of .500/.545/.950. He has also stolen two bases and scored 10 runs in that 12-game span.
The Dodgers are six games under .500 and own a putrid -51 run differential, but they’re only five games back of the Diamondbacks in the National League West standings. That division is up for grabs.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.