Blue Jay’s Bautista vying for home-run title three-peat
It would take a brave man to back against José Bautista leading the majors in home runs for a third consecutive year. But history tells us the three-peat is rare.
Only four men have ever achieved the feat, which illustrates how special an accomplishment it would be for the Toronto Blue Jays right fielder, if he were to pull it off. The last man to do it was Mark McGwire from 1997-99, and he later admitted to using steroids. Before that you have to go back to Phillies Hall of Famer and one of the finest third baseman of all time, Mike Schmidt, who did it from 1974-76. Another Hall of Famer, Ralph Kiner, topped the list from 1949-51. And the other guy? Yep, Babe Ruth. The Bambino did it twice, and actually took it one step further, doing it four years in a row from 1926-29.
Bautista romped to the title in 2010 with 54 homers, 12 more than runner-up Albert Pujols. In 2011, it was much closer: he had 43 blasts to Curtis Granderson’s 41.
This season, the same names are expected to feature. Bautista is deserved favourite at $3.75. Albert Pujols, in the unfamiliar threads of the Los Angeles Angels, is $4.50 and the Yankees’ Granderson represents a bit of value at $7. In fact, Granderson isn’t even the shortest-priced Yank. His teammate Mark Teixeira is $6.50 while Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton and Detroit’s Prince Fielder are equal third favourites at $5.50. The prices show just how close this race is expected to be – six home runs split the top seven hitters in 2011.
Meanwhile up on the mound, Detroit ace Justin Verlander ($3.75) and the Phillies’ Roy Halladay ($4) head the field for most wins. Verlander took the honours last season with a 24-win season, three games clear of breakout Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy (price not listed) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw ($4.75). Yankees big fella CC Sabathia ($4.25) is also tipped to be thereabouts. Who’s your money on?984 views