Miguel Cabrera is one month away from possibly joining the likes of Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein and Carl Yastrzemski.
What is the "Sextuple Crown?" It means leading the league in average, home runs, RBI, hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
With September nearly upon us, Cabrera leads his league in every one of those categories besides home runs. He sits three home runs back of Orioles slugger Chris Davis, but he’s swiftly closing that gap. Cabrera has 13 home runs to Davis’ nine since the All-Star Break, and Davis’ numbers seem to suggest he’s seeing fewer pitches to drive with more exposure to the league.
Cabrera’s leads in batting average, on-base percentage, and RBI appear insurmountable. Davis sits within striking distance in slugging percentage, and a few guys could catch Cabrera in hits—especially if the Tigers start giving him regular rest once they clinch the AL Central.
The question is, can Cabrera win in all six categories?
Before we go any further, it's important to look at the stats:
As of Tuesday, it seems Cabrera has average and on-base percentage. He also has a decent lead in slugging and RBI.
However, he's only ahead of Adrian Beltre by four hits and is trailing Chris Davis by three home runs. If Cabrera's run for the crown were halted, it would likely be in one of those two categories.
So let's look at the the rest of the schedule for Cabrera, Beltre and Davis. While starting pitchers will be different, each player's schedule will have a lot to say about who will come out on top in those categories.
The home run aspect is hit or miss. Davis has hit nine home runs since the All-Star break, while Cabrera has hit 13 home runs. It would seem Cabrera is hitting with more power and could overtake Davis by year's end.
All Miggy has to do is hit three more home runs than Davis over the last month and that stat category will be his. But again, it all depends on pitching matchups.
When looking at ESPN's team pitching stats, Beltre could have the advantage in getting more hits as he'll face teams ranked No. 1 (Houston), No. 2 (Minnesota) and No. 5 (Angels) in hits allowed for a total of 12 games. Cabrera has games against teams ranked No. 2 (Minnesota), No. 7 (Seattle) and No. 14 (Boston) for a total of nine games.
Since the break, Beltre has 48 hits compared to 38 for Cabrera. That could come into play as well.
When looking at the numbers and the remaining schedule, I don't think Cabrera will win in all six categories. More than likely, he'll win five and miss out on hits.
The Texas Rangers are in a tighter race in the AL West than the Detroit Tigers are in the AL Central. Cabrera could get a few games of rest down the stretch, while Beltre will likely be playing every day.
While he won't win in all six categories, Cabrera should still win his second straight Triple Crown. He's already ahead in average and RBI, and if he can continue hitting home runs, he'll overtake Davis for that by season's end.
Even with only five category wins, Cabrera should still be easily named the AL MVP.