One of the best parts about the beginning of the MLB season is the “on pace” debate. You know, the one that starts when a guy hits three homers on Opening Day and we’re reminded he’s on pace for 486.
With the calendar flipping to May 1, the first “month” of the regular season is in the books, and those debates are usually cooled off by now. But, really, why not continue them? After all, the regular season is six months long, so why not just multiply numbers out a bit (by, say, 6.1, since there are three games in October this season as well) and see where people stand?
I did just that, and in addition, broke the same totals down into a per-game average, then multiplied that by 162 in order to get the “true” pace. After doing the math and rounding up (because you can’t hit half a home run), what I found was that several Yankees are “on pace” for outstanding seasons. To wit:
Derek Jeter: Through April 30, Jeter had 37 hits in 22 games. Multiplied by 6.1, he is “on pace” for 226 hits, and if you multiply his per-game average (1.6818) by 162, the pace is 272. The latter would be an MLB record (with a .389 average to boot if he continues to average 4.32 AB per game), and even the former would still be a career-high for The Captain.
Nick Swisher: Despite sitting out his first full game last night, Swisher currently has a team leading 23 RBI. His “monthly” pace has him set for 140, and his per-game puts him at an even better 170. Again, the latter would be in the Top 10 totals of all time, and the former would still likely lead the league and best Swish’s career high by 45 RBI.
Curtis Granderson: The “Grandyman” has drawn 16 bases on balls so far this season, a total that paces him out to 98 (monthly) or 118 (per game). Neither of those are records, but Curtis just set a career-high with 85 BB last season, a number he would shatter with either total.
David Robertson: Pitchers are harder to pace out somewhat, as they don’t play every day. But through 22 games, Robertson has pitched 11 innings in 11 appearances, so if you do simple math, he’s pretty much pitched an inning every other team game. He has 18 strikeouts in those 11 innings, putting him on pace for 110 (“monthly” pace) or 133 (per game pace assuming 81 games). Either of those totals is a huge one for a reliever, and on the latter’s 81 inning pace, the 133 would give him a 14.78 K/9 average. That’s what fans and media alike call “Nolan Ryan territory.”
You could have a lot more fun with a lot lesser categories as well, but the most fun of all for Bombers fans might be this stat: as of May 1, the Yankees are on pace to win 96 games – just one less than last season, when they led the AL East by six games.
And, although it might seem unlikely for the foursome profiled above to reach the high end of their projections, any or all of them reaching a closer “milestone” certainly could happen. Vote below for which one you think is most likely to happen!