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Do Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols & Lance Berkman Make the Best Trio in MLB?

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Do Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols & Lance Berkman Make the Best Trio in MLB?
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Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols

Several teams have very good players in their three, four and five holes in the batting order. However I don’t think any are as good as the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman are as good as it gets.

As I write this article, Holliday is the National League’s leading hitter, and Berkman is in second place, both batting over .400.

In OBP, Holliday is in first place and Berkman in third.

Pujols is perhaps the best player in MLB, having won three MVP awards (and being runner up in four more), and averages .330/.424/42/128 per 162 games for his career.

The Milwaukee Brewers have great third and fourth hitters, in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder but Casey McGehee is not on the same plane as Berkman.

Since Braun moved from third base to left field, he has become one of the best rounded hitters in the game today.  Entering his fifth MLB season, he is averaging .309/.368/37/118.  He led the NL in hits in 2009 with 203.

Prince Fielder, who joined his father Cecil in the 50 HR club in 2007 with 50 round-trippers, has averaged 37 HR and 105 RBI over his six years in the major leagues.

The New York Yankees, who should have the best team money can buy, can’t match the trio that the Cardinals put on the field, even with the 10th player.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Lance Berkman

Robinson Cano who is undoubtedly the best second baseman in the junior circuit, had a career year in 2010, finishing third in MVP voting.

His two high-profile teammates that should be mentioned in a list such as this are third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Rodriguez, a three-time MVP winner, is currently sixth on the career HR list with 618. Since coming to the Bronx in 2004, he is averaging 43 HR and 134 RBI. These stats are actually a shade above his career numbers meaning he has had no noticeable decline in his productivity.

The only time Teixeira has had fewer than 30 HR or 100 RBI was his rookie year of 2003 with the Texas Rangers. He led the AL in HR, RBI and TB in 2009.

The only other team that I believe has a comparable 3-4-5 hitting combo is the Boston Red Sox. Adrian Gonzalez (acquired this offseason from San Diego), Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz are clearly a fearful sight to opposing pitchers.

The durable first baseman Gonzalez has averaged 161 games over the past three seasons. During that period he has averaged 36 HR and 108 RBI.

“Big Papi” Ortiz has the power and run productivity of the others, but his .281 career average is sub-par in comparison.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who has played a lot of first base for the Bosox, is not the offensive threat as others mentioned in this article, but is a menacing threat to pitchers.

Can any team in MLB  match the power and batting prowess of the St. Louis edition of “Murderer’s Row”? Not in my opinion.

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