As of today, the MLB season is roughly 40 percent over. Some teams have played more games than that, some have played fewer, but that's about where we are. It feels like the season just began, and next thing you know, you blinked, and we were two-fifths of the way
As of today, the MLB season is roughly 40 percent over. Some teams have played more games than that, some have played fewer, but that's about where we are. It feels like the season just began, and next thing you know, you blinked, and we were two-fifths of the way done. It's going to be the long, cruel winter before we know it.
Forty percent is late enough in the year to have an idea of who players are and what teams are, but early enough that you can still project matters out to, if played at their current pace, ridiculous end points. Thus, today at The Thirty, we look at the wildest "on pace for" stat for each Major League team. The odds are against the numbers remaining this consistent for the rest of the season. But wouldn't it be something if they did?
American League East
Blue Jays: Entire team, on pace for 2.5 sacrifice bunts
The Blue Jays, impressively, have only one sacrifice bunt so far. Since the stat began being tracked in 1894, no team has ever had fewer than eight in a season.
Orioles: Chris Davis, on pace for a -4.6 fWAR season
I'll let ESPN's Dan Syzmborski take this one over.
Rays: Mallex Smith, on pace for 0 home runs
The Rays have never, in their history, had a player receive enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title without hitting a single home run. (It has happened only 10 times since the Rays came into existence.)
Red Sox: J.D. Martinez, on pace for 52 home runs
This would make Martinez only the third player in Red Sox history to hit 50 or more home runs, after David Ortiz (2006) and Jimmie Foxx (1938).
Yankees: Gary Sanchez, on pace for .190 batting average, while still having enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title
The Yankees have had only five players in their history qualify for the batting title while hitting under the Mendoza line, and none since Tom Tresh in 1968.
Indians: Corey Kluber, on pace for 256 innings pitched
For all the talk of a de-emphasis on starting pitching, this would be the most innings pitched in baseball since Roy Halladay threw 266 in 2002.
Royals: Team hitting, on pace for 1,163 strikeouts
The Royals have the fewest strikeouts as a team in baseball. This total of 1,163, up until 1995, would have been the fourth-most strikeouts by a team in Major League Baseball history, behind only the 1968 Mets, the 1991 Tigers and the 1970 Padres.
Tigers: Team pitching, on pace for 0 complete games thrown by a pitcher
Founded in 1901, the Tigers have never gone a whole season without a complete game. (Half the teams in baseball currently lack a complete game by a pitcher.)
Twins: Eduardo Escobar, on pace for 102 extra-base hits
This would shatter the Twins' all-time record for extra-base hits in a season -- currently held by Tony Oliva with 84 in 1962 -- and be only the 16th season in MLB history with 100 or more extra-base hits, and the first since 2001 (when four players -- Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Todd Helton and Luis Gonzalez -- accomplished it).
White Sox: Yolmer Sanchez, on pace for 18 triples
This would be the most triples in baseball since Jose Reyes had 19 in 2008 and the most in White Sox history since Shoeless Joe Jackson had 20 in 1920.
Angels: Michael Trout, on pace for a 12.5 fWAR season
This would simply be the sixth-best season of all time, according to FanGraphs.
Astros: Jose Altuve, on pace for 225 hits
This would tie 2014 for the most hits in a season of Altuve's career. This number would put him just shy of 1,500 for his career, at the age of 28.
Athletics: Matt Olson, on pace for 1,533 putouts
Sort of amazingly in this era of strikeouts, this would be the most defensive putouts since Jose Pujols had 1,597 for the 2003 Cardinals. Before that season, no one had more than 1,533 since Mark Grace in 1992.
Mariners: Dee Gordon, on pace for 47 stolen bases
Gordon is currently the MLB leader in stolen bases. If he ends up on his current pace and still in first place, it will be the fewest stolen bases by an MLB leader since 1963, when Maury Willis and Luis Aparacio each had 40.
Rangers: Joey Gallo, on pace for 224 strikeouts
The all-time record for strikeouts in a season is held by Mark Reynolds with 223 in 2009. Gallo is on a record-breaking pace. This is definitely a record for our time.
National League East
Braves: Ozzie Albies, on pace for 690 at-bats
Albies' ability to stay healthy and disinclination to take a walk has him on pace to have the most at-bats in baseball since Jimmy Rollins in 2007.
Marlins: Miguel Rojas, on pace for 37 double plays grounded into
A very Marlins record to hold, this would be the most double plays grounded into in a season in Major League history, besting Jim Rice's 36 in 1984. (He hit into 35 in 1985.)
Mets: Brandon Nimmo, on pace for 27 hit-by-pitches
This would be more hit-by-pitches than Darryl Strawberry, Bud Harrelson, Rusty Staub, Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez and Ron Swoboda in their entire Mets careers.
Nationals:Max Scherzer, on pace for 312 strikeouts
This would be the most in baseball since Randy Johnson struck out 334 in 2002.
Phillies: Cesar Hernandez, on pace for 4.4 fWAR
This would be the best Phillies season by a position player since Rollins in 2012.
Brewers:Lorenzo Cain, on pace for 6.0 fWAR
The Brewers have had only five six-win seasons from a position player in the last 30 years.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha, on pace for 15 sacrifices
A pitcher has led the National League in sacrifice bunts for seven consecutive years; the last position player to do it was Omar Infante in 2011.
Cubs:Tyler Chatwood, on pace for 146 walks
The offseason addition has been incredibly wild for the Cubs; this would be the most walks from a pitcher since Nolan Ryan had 148 in 1978. Chatwood has 56 walks in 58 1/3 innings.
Pirates: Corey Dickerson, on pace for 4.0 fWAR
This would constitute a third of Dickerson's career total.
Reds:Eugenio Suarez, on pace for 142 RBIs
This one is cheating a little bit, since it uses a per-game pace up to this point, rather than total games played. But Suarez has missed 17 Reds games and still leads the NL in RBIs.
D-backs:Paul Goldschmidt, on pace for 286 total bases
This, even after his four-homers-in-two-games weekend, would be the lowest of any non-injury season of his career.
Dodgers: Pitching staff, on pace for 20 balks
This would be more balks by any team in the last 20 years.
Giants: Pitching staff, on pace for 688 earned runs
This would be the second-most since the Giants' World Series championship run began in 2010, behind only last season.
Padres: Pitching staff, on pace for 29 runners picked off
The Padres have found something here; the last team to pick off this many runners were the 2008 Oakland A's, who picked off 34.
Rockies: Bryan Shaw, on pace for 87 games pitched
The Rockies may have tried to boost their bullpen in the offseason, but they're putting a ton on Shaw, who leads the league in games pitched for fourth time in the last five years. This would be his all-time high and the most in baseball since Pedro Feliciano showed up in 92 games for the Mets in 2010.
Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.