Miguel Cabrera-Chris Davis Triple Crown Battle Could Lead to Magical Summer

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJune 18, 2013

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 17: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates after hitting a two-run home run, scoring teammate Austin Jackson (not pictured) in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on June 17, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera is coming off the first Triple Crown season in the MLB in 45 years, and his hot start in the 2013 MLB season had many saying that he could do it again.

Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles might have something to say about that, however, as the 27-year-old first baseman is the only one in the AL to best Cabrera in any statistic, and is right behind him in the other two.

Last year we saw how there is always competition for a triple crown, with Mike Trout chasing Miggy in batting average and Josh Hamilton finishing right behind him in home runs and RBI.

But this is more.

This epic clash between two baseball giants has fans anxiously searching box scores and saying "I wonder what they did this time."

It's rare to see two players go back and forth the way Cabrera and Davis have so far this year. Every time one guys does something great, the other matches him.

Monday night's game in Detroit was no different, as Cabrera stepped up in the first inning, flicked his wrist and sent a ball roughly 375 feet the opposite way.

Not to be outdone, Davis led off the top of the second and took the second pitch he saw out of the park, hitting almost the exact same spot Cabrera did.

Sluggers came to play in Detroit. Miguel Cabrera hit his 19th HR in bottom 1st. Chris Davis matches him with league-leading 24th in 2nd.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 17, 2013

These two shots separate Cabrera and Davis even further from the pack, as they are the top two sluggers in all three triple crown categories, and are at least tied for the best overall statistics in the entire MLB.

Player BA HR RBI
Miguel Cabrera .357 19 71
Chris Davis .340 24 61

Cabrera and Davis have been putting on a show all year long, but the series in Detroit could provide some serious fireworks, as seen on Monday night.

Not only is it great for baseball fans to watch two superstars do battle like this, but it pits a lot of talent on one field.

When asked about chasing Miggy and going for the triple crown, Davis told Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi this:

I was telling people last year — my friends that don’t necessarily follow baseball — you guys don’t realize how hard that actually is. Not just to hit for that average, but to do it with power. It’s just a very rare thing. There’s a reason nobody did it for a long time.

Miguel is one of those guys you watch, as a player, and he just makes it look easy. It doesn’t ever look like he’s overwhelmed or overmatched. It would be quite a feat to take a Triple Crown from him. I honestly don’t know if there’s going to be anybody else to do it — besides him.

Talk about respect for a player.

Davis clearly knows that the guy sitting across from him has a ton of talent, and that at any second Cabrera could go on a tear and leave him in the dust.

But that's a two-way street.

Davis didn't take a commanding five home run lead over Cabrera by accident, and it sure wasn't luck that brought him to second place in batting average and RBI.

Washington Nationals pitcher Dan Haren has been solid against Davis, but even he fears the Orioles' slugger:

I’ve had some decent success against him, but he’s a different hitter now than he was in Texas. He had a lot of holes when he was in Texas. I think he would admit to that.

He’s always been a presence at the plate. He kind of scared you, with how big he is and how he swings the bat. But going over his (scouting) charts, what he’s hitting and not hitting, he’s hitting pretty much everything. I was really fine with the pitches I was throwing him today. I got behind him once or twice, but if I was going to walk him, I was going to walk him and move on to (Matt) Wieters.

To put it another way, Davis' teammate Nate McLouth had this to say about his first baseman:

He can swing at 50 percent and hit it further than if I was swinging from second base.

That's not an understatement. Davis leads the MLB in isolated power, according to Sporting News, with a whopping .401. The next best ISO in the American League is just .290, and is held by (you guessed it) Cabrera.

The only players in history to finish with an ISO above .400 are Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Babe Ruth.

Davis is making his push for a massive deal, and the fans are loving his power.

Chris Davis is trying to get paid. 24 Home Runs and 61 RBI's. Good for you, Chris! Always said it was a good move for both sides.

— Erik G. R. (@EGR_1326) June 17, 2013

Chris Davis falls asleep mid-swing, only lines a single to center.

— Daniel Moroz (@CamdenCrazies) June 18, 2013

Cabrera isn't exactly a bum himself when it comes to power.

Despite trailing Davis by five home runs, the Tigers slugger has the kind of power and production that fans love to see, and they come out in droves to see him play.

Watching the the tigers to see Miguel Cabrera ...he hits a first pitch HR #SmartMove

— Alex Caruso (@ACFresh21) June 17, 2013

Somebody accidentally pitched to Miguel Cabrera again...2-0 Tigers.

— Rob (@robg0927) June 17, 2013

Heck, Bleacher Report's own Zachary Rymer can't help but hop on the Miggy bandwagon.

Miguel Cabrera hitting baseballs for two hours would be an excellent summer blockbuster, methinks.

— Zachary D. Rymer (@zachrymer) June 17, 2013

I have to agree with Rymer on this one—I could watch Cabrera take batting practice for days.

The biggest questions facing fans right now is not who will win the triple crown (if anyone), but can these two get us through the dog days of summer?

Winning the triple crown takes continued success (much more than a third of the season). It's pretty early to be talking about what could happen in September, but we can focus on the next two months or so.

Cabrera and Davis could have their own late night show, and the latest editions of SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight have proven that.

These two sensational sluggers are in a tit-for-tat matchup right now, and if it keeps up we could have some truly spectacular baseball on tap through the summer.


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