Alex Rodriguez has a decent shot at tying or surpassing Babe Ruth next season

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Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez smacked his 17th home run of the season in the first inning on Friday night against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. Thus continues Rodriguez’s terrific season. Along with the 17 round-trippers, he has knocked in 48 runs while batting .279/.384/.511. Despite not making the 2015 American League All-Star roster, Rodriguez is rated as the ninth-best hitter in the league according to the Sabermetric statistics weighted on-base average. The 15 other players in the AL’s top-16 are All-Stars.

Anyway. Rodriguez now has 671 home runs in his career, leaving him 43 home runs shy of tying Babe Ruth for third on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard at 714. A-Rod is currently on pace to finish with 32 home runs (15 more the rest of the way), which would put him at 686. That means Rodriguez would need to hit 28 home runs next year to tie Ruth and 29 to pass him. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, even though Rodriguez will be 40 years old.

This will, however, be the first season in which Rodriguez has hit more than 18 home runs since 2010. If he hits the 30-homer threshold, he’ll have done something he hasn’t accomplished in half a decade. But if he can do it at 39, he can do it at 40, right?

Imagine where Rodriguez would be if he didn’t need to undergo knee surgery in 2011, suffer a hand injury in 2012, require hip surgery in 2013, and miss all of 2014 due to his PED suspension.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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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.