Every team wants to have a feared 1-2 punch in the middle of their lineup. Ruth/Gehrig, Aaron/Mathews, and Mays/McCovey are some of the best combos ever, but this week’s Player Poll question is not looking at the past. Here is this week’s question:
What is the best hitting duo in the game today?
Let’s dive in.
Note: All of displayed statistics are for the 2012 season and before the start of play on 9/20/12.
Some feel that this duo could be much higher on the list, but much of their offensive numbers are because they are left-handed hitters that play half of their games in Yankee Stadium. However, short porch in right field or not, this is definitely a combo that AL pitchers try to avoid as much as they can.
It would be interesting to see how much better the Dodgers would have performed up to this point in the season had they had their best player (Kemp) the entire time. Still, even with Kemp on having played in 93 games this season, he is still one-half of one of the best hitting twosomes in the league. However, Ethier will have some competition for second fiddle next year with Gonzalez, Ramirez, and Crawford all in the lineup (scary thought for NL teams).
Now, most people would have expected Carlos Beltran to be Holliday’s sidekick on this list. However, even though Craig has played in 32 less games than Beltran, he has put up similar power numbers as Beltran but with a higher batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. On top of that, he has consistently been at the top of the NL is batting average with runners in scoring position. Couple that with a career year for Holliday, and you have a dynamic pair in St. Louis.
This combo could easily be #1, but there has to be some kind of a winner. Both are having two of the best seasons of their careers, and they are the main reason why I think the Texas Rangers are the favorites to win the AL pennant and maybe even the World Series. Only problem with pitching around these two studs is that the Rangers have about five other guys that can hurt you after them.
After crunching their combined 2012 numbers, I am just blown away at how potent these two have been. I am not sure you can do any more to put your team in a position to win consistently. Bad news for the rest of the league is that neither of these sluggers looks to slow down any time soon.
Also considered: Troy Tulowitzki & Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Chase Utley & Ryan Howard (PHI), Albert Pujols & Mark Trumbo (LAA), Yoenis Cespedes & Josh Reddick (OAK), and Adam Dunn & Paul Konerko (CWS).
Ashley Chavez’ pick: Miguel Cabrera & Prince Fielder (DET)
“It's hard to decide between Cabrera/Fielder and Hamilton/Beltre. Both groups are dreadful to face, and their numbers are out of this world. The reason I chose Miggy and Prince is the fact that they are truly the stars on that team, while Hamilton and Beltre are the best on an offensive powerhouse of a line up. The Tigers duo is just more valuable. Without them this year, the team wouldn't be where they are now.”
Ricardo Marquez’ pick: Josh Hamilton & Adrian Beltre
“I’m an AL West guy, so on a weekly basis I’m terrified seeing this two come up to bat. It’s not a fun feeling to be like, “Ok, Hamilton walked so we’re safe...OH MY WORD WE HAVE BELTRE UP.” Those two guys are probably the scariest one-two combo in the majors. That’s until Kyle and I get a major league contract and do some damage.”
Don’t forget to watch #PlayerPoll on FOX at 3:00pm EST this Saturday to see whom the players and fans think are the best hitting combos in baseball. Also, tweet your picks for the best hitting combo to @MLBFanCave and @KyleOKC using the hash tag #CavePickEm.