• 06/08/2008, 11:28AM ET

Lance Berkman or Josh Hamilton, who is more likely to win the Triple Crown?

NEMike (63-71-13) vs thehemogoblin (71-23-5)

I'll take the Texas Ranger here...
If you haven't noticed at all, Berkman doesn't lead his league in any of the 3 categories needed to obtain the Triple Crown.

Let's look at the AL Leaders in the 3 Categories and their stats




Now look at the NL Leaders




As anyone could see, Hamilton leads the HR and RBI categories, and is only .23 points away from the leader in BA. Berkman is 8 RBI's off of Utley and Gonzalez, 4 HR's off of Utley, and Uggla is also a threat to lead the league in NL, and he's a good .46 points off of the leader Chipper Jones. Berkman has a long way to go in each of the 3 categories, while Hamilton just needs to maintain his lead in HR and RBI, and just needs to get on base more than he has to catch up with Bradley, Mauer, and Matsui.

Right now Hamilton is closer, and Berkman is slowing down a bit (BA gone down .25 points, 1 HR, and 4 RBI since May 19,) Hamilton is closer

The true thing is not how far behind Josh Hamilton is in batting average, but how many PEOPLE he is behind. That number is 6. Hamilton has to pass six people with his batting average.

Meanwhile, Lance Berkman only has to pass two people in any one category, and he has the offense and ballpark to do it in.

Between Chipper Jones' injuries and the fact that nobody's hit .400 since Ted Williams, he's bound to come down to earth with his batting average.

Dan Uggla plays in hitter's hell in Pro Player Stadium, where the dimensions are so unfriendly that it made Carl Pavano look like a good pitcher.

Adrian Gonzalez plays in a ballpark worse for hitting than Uggla, and he's on one of the worst offenses in baseball (name another hitter in San Diego off the top of your head).

Chase Utley has never hit more than 32 home runs or 105 RBI in a single season.

However, the people that Hamilton is behind in batting average have career averages of .278, .316, .298, .289, .286, and .312, (Hamilton's is .303), and have two batting championships (actually, the last two). Also, Ichiro is as close to Hamilton as Hamilton is to the leader, and owns 2 batting titles and the single-season hits record.

Hamilton has to pass 6 yes, but he's been hot since the date that Berkman's been slumping... Try 7 homers and 19 RBI's since May 19. Ichiro is not even hitting .300 and his team is the worst in the AL. Johnny Damon (who is above Hamilton) went up .22 points last night, if it wasn't for his 6-6 night, Hamilton would still be ahead of him. Hamilton isn't that far behind the leaders, and it should be a close race.

Berkman also plays in a not so homer friendly park, especially in Center Field. The Marlins have some road trips coming up, which should give Uggla a chance to up his HR, and Utley would've had a phenomenal season last year if he hadn't gotten injured. Utley will definitely get past 32 homers and 105 RBI's this year, no doubt about it.

Adrian Gonzalez actually has as many homers as Berkman, so if Gonzalez is doing so well in a bad ballpark for hitters, than he should do well on the road.

Berkman was red-hot in April and early May, and if he was still playing that well right now, there'd be no doubt that Berkman could win the Triple Crown. But only 4 RBI's in nearly a month? That's nothing. A Triple Crown winnner needs to be great all year, and Berkman is not that.

Ichiro is a notoriously slow starter and he also broke the hits record on a last-place team.

As for the Damon comment, it still happened. Regardless of what you say, Damon's still got a better average.

Uggla still has to play half of the season in Dolphins Stadium. Bad for the dinger total.

Gonzalez has absolutely no protection in the lineup, that's why he's ruled out.

Utley may this year, but we don't know by how much. Regardless, he's going to revert towards his career averages.

Berkman's still hitting .350 in the last month, and you're saying that he's not great right now? There's only two other players hitting that for this entire season.

Lance Berkman's career highs are 45 home runs and 136 RBIs, and those totals show that Berkman's been there before and he's shown the ability to put an entire season together. Josh Hamilton hasn't even played a full season in the majors. Great story, yes, Triple Crown candidate, no. That's why Lance Berkman's a more viable candidate for this rare accomplishment.

Gonzalez still has 8 more RBI's than Berkman, and that's with no protection, that doesn't rule him out.

Lance Berkman's career highs are awesome numbers, but that was a couple years ago, players have changed a lot in a couple years.

Hamilton has a load of talent that he wasn't able to use because of his drug problem. All the AL Sluggers aren't doing so hot as they usually do and Hamilton's taking advantage of that. He has 16 more RBI's than his next competitor in that category. With the 6 guys above Hamilton in the AL, only Mags and Bradley had a BA above .300 and Bradley didn't even play half of the season. Hamilton has to overcome those guys, but they haven't had recent experience of hitting above .300.

Berkman has to step up his game if he wants to be a Triple Crown winner. Yes he's had a great average since May 19, but just winning a batting title doesn't get you the Triple Crown. If he doesn't play like he was in the beginning of the year, Berkman has no chance at the Triple Crown.

Actually, that does rule Gonzales out. You can't bat anyone in if they're not on base. Having Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, and Miguel Tejada in the lineup with him inherently makes Berkman more able to score his teammates.

You kidding about the people hitting above .300? The last two AL batting champions are both above Hamilton, and Mauer and Ordonez both have career batting averages above .300.

Regardless of why, Berkman has more experience and has proven that he can do it over a 162 game schedule, while Hamilton in his career only has played 153 games.

When you say "If he doesn't play like he was in the beginning of the year, Berkman has no chance at the Triple Crown," the exact same thing applies to the hitter you're sponsoring. Hamilton's been lights out this year SO FAR, but we have only limited information on the trends of Hamilton, other than last year when he tailed off significantly after his hot start. His career so far shows that he will not be able to hold this torrid pace throughout the entire season while Berkman's done it, and I've shown reasons why the people in front of him in each of the statistical categories will tail off after the halfway mark of this season.


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