Matt Kemp Makes Run at Triple Crown, N.L. MVP

Matt Kemp now has a realistic shot at baseball’s Triple Crown this year. Coming into today’s games, Kemp is third ranked third in batting average, tied for first in home runs and led the National League in RBI. Finishing first in those three categories is the baseball equivalent to winning the Triple Crown as a hitter.

The N.L. statistics are going to be watched very closely in the final days of the season, especially with how close Kemp has made the races in those three categories. It is remarkable to point out that he also has 40 stolen bases to possibly give him a 40-40 season. Kemp has a .326 batting average, 37 home runs and 119 RBI. The league leaders in batting average are Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun (tied at .329), and Albert Pujols is the other player with 37 home runs.

With five games left, Kemp is going to keep baseball exciting for a city that has had to struggle through the drama of Frank McCourt’s divorce all year. The raw statistics for Kemp are like none that have taken place before, and he has the potential to lead the league in runs, home runs, RBI and batting average in the same season. He can’t catch Michael Bourn in steals (58) but has a good chance at finishing second in the league.

The Dodgers finish with two games against the Padres and three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Saturday the Padres will put Aaron Harang on the mound and on Sunday it will be Cory Luebke. Both pitchers have had measured success this year, and Luebke is becoming a great strikeout pitcher. They can give up home runs though, so that could play into the wheelhouse of Kemp’s approach.

The last time that a hitter won the Triple Crown in the National League was in 1937 when Joe Medwick did it for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now Kemp might not just become the best player in baseball this year but put together a season that puts him amongst the best in the history of the game.

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