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Matt Kemp is unlikely to win the triple crown

Sep 26, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

For those who were rooting for Matt Kemp to win the triple crown, know that it’s highly unlikely. After a good weekend from Ryan Braun and a mezzo-mezzo weekend from Kemp, Kemp now stands eight points behind Braun for the batting title.

As Mark Simon of ESPN Stats and Information, pinch hitting on Dodger Thoughts notes (a) the Brewers are likely to rest Ryan Braun in at least one of the remaining three games; and (b) no matter what Braun does in the time he plays, Kemp will have to get a hit in nearly every at bat for him to pass Braun.  Simon has a chart that breaks down what Kemp’s average will be based on various hitting performances over his last three games, but the upshot is this:

From that chart, we can note that so long as Ryan Braun maintains his current .333 pace, Matt Kemp would have to go at least 10-for-13 to beat him (and hope that Jose Reyes didn’t have a good 3 games).

Yeah. That’s a tall order.

Dodger Thoughts — which, unlike the rest of us has been on the Matt Kemp Triple Crown Train for weeks now —  has all manner of other fun triple crown factoids at his post, so go check it out.

  1. Lukehart80 - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Yes sir.

    He won’t win it, but he is it.

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    So if we don’t place the same value on these three numbers as we used to, what would be a good sabermetric Triple Crown? What three stats would be the ones to show the best picture of a complete player?

    Or are things like WAR designed to take everything into account so effectively that a Triple Crown wouldn’t be of much use as a measure of a player?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      It’s designed to be an all encompassing stat, but it doesn’t measure things like WPA (clutch hitting) and, correct me if i’m wrong, since it uses wOBA instead of wRC it’s not park adjusted.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      Maybe OBP, HR, and RC?

      Getting on base is more important than how it happens, so OBP replaces BA. I think fans of most any stripe would consider HR important, so those can stay. I don’t know that there’s a real clear counting stat that gets at roughly what RBI are sort of getting at, not one that’s easily counted by most of us anyway.

      • dihigosghost - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        OBP combined with SLG gives us OPS, which Matt Kemp is currently leading in.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        But OPS overvalues SLG (it’s also bad because you are combining two numbers with different denominators as one uses PA and the other uses AB). Also it’s not park or era (not earned run average) adjusted either so a 150 OPS in the height of the steroid era shouldn’t be the same as a 150 OPS during the deadball era.

    • skipperxc - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM

      Could be just leading in all three slash stats: BA, OBP, SLG. That happens substantially more often though — last to do it was Mauer in his 2009 MVP year with a .365/.444/.587 line, and even in just the last decade was Bonds twice and Todd Helton’s stupefying .372/.463/.698 mark in 2000. Man, pre-humidor Coors Field was great, wasn’t it?

  3. Joe - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Of course if Braun doesn’t keep up his .333 pace, which is entirely plausible, the numbers change. If Braun goes 0-8 the rest of the way (assuming he sits one game), then Kemp needs to go 7-13 to catch him. Also not likely, but certainly not unheard of.

  4. thefalcon123 - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Yeah, it’s Ryan Howard.

    Or Yadier Molina, since his OPS+ of 125 is exactly the same as Howard’s.

    • Nick C - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      Yep, Yadi knows the value of a walk and can hit both RHH and LHH pitchers. Oh and he can play some defense too.

  5. salvomania - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Remember 1976, anyone?

    Going into the last game of the season, Ken Griffey held a .338-to-.333 edge over Bill Madlock.

    In order to protect his lead, Griffey wasn’t in the starting lineup. Madlock then went 4-for-4, pushing his average to .339, and Griffey, hearing what was happening in Chicago, was inserted into the Reds’ game to try to gain a point, and instead went 0-for-2 to finish at .336.

    That night, Griffey went home and made passionate love to his wife, and nine months later Junior was born.

  6. brockw82 - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Too bad Junior was born in 68 or 69…

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      That’s how potent a lover Ken Griffey was, he got women retroactively pregnant, seven years later.

      However, his children were always prone to nerve tonic addictions, an unfortunate side effect to his unorthodox conception method.

      • pkers - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        But at least when he drank the nerve tonic, Griffey Junior (NOT Junior Griffey, no matter how many times Gammons says it like that), there was a party in his mouth, and everyone was invited.

  7. dihigosghost - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Yes, it is unlikely he will win the Triple Crown, close but no cigar. Even if he did, that doesn’t mean he would win MVP. MLB MVP voters often make choices that are not based on best stats but some other reasons that can be hard to justify. Kemp plays centerfield, which is a more important defensive position than left field, leads in runs scored, RBIs, is first in OPS, which could be the most important offensive stat, tied for homers, second in stolen bases, third in batting average, and on and on and on. However, Ryan Braun will win NL MVP because he has stats that are almost as equally impressive and the Brewers are making the playoffs. That’s the way that it has worked before and is what will happen again. An imperfect system, but what is perfect.

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