MLB Big Hitters Hoping for Another Underdog Year

After the Cleveland Cavs won the NBA title, Leicester City won the EPL and the Chicago Cubs topped it off with a World Series victory, it truly was the year of the underdog in 2016. In the dust of those victories, there is now a shadow of uncertainty in every major sporting event. Any underdog could pull the rug out from underneath the favorite, especially in this year’s MLB

It would be brilliant to be able to guess who will win the World Series, but after the Cubs’ first win in 108-years last term, that seems even more difficult to do than normal. However, there are a number of batters doing their very best to overcome the odds so far this season. 

Ryan Zimmerman has played 25 games so far this season for the Washington Nationals, where the 32-year-old has never before finished a full campaign with a batting average over .300 since his debut season. But this year, Zimmerman already has an average of .419; his Washington Nationals are +850 in the latest MLB odds to win the World Series and he is a massive part of that.

As well as leading the league in batting average, Zimmerman has the second highest amount of home runs and leads the league in RBI. Indeed, Zimmerman’s 29 RBI was the highest any Nationals player has ever had in one month. He has been on fire so far this term and shows no signs of slowing down.

However, he isn’t doing it alone in Washington, as teammate Bryce Harper is currently on course to register his best batting average in a season. Harper is just behind Zimmerman in batting average, with .389, and is third in the league for RBI with 27. 

Bryce Harper

“Bryce Harper” by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The 24-year-old recently came back from injury and is on course to repeat his 2015 season where he was named the League’s MVP that year. Harper had a total of 118 runs that season and with 33 so far this term, he looks to back to his best. The Nations pair have led Washington to top spot in the National League with 17 wins and 9 losses, they’re in close second in the entire MLB just behind Houston’s 18 wins and 9 losses.

Another close competitor to the Nationals pair is the star duo from New York; Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro are playing vital parts in the New York Yankees‘ World Series bid. Judge has given Yankee fans a show this season with 12 home runs so far. The 25-year-old is in his second MLB season and is already impressing people; he has the league’s 25th best batting average but is fifth in terms of RBI and leads the league in home runs. 

His teammate Castro is picking up the rest of the responsibility as he is seventh in batting average with .360 as well as sixth in hits and 23rd in runs. They may not be hitting the accolades individually, but as a team, they’re certainly playing a huge part in the Yankees’ season. New York have won 16 and lost nine – sitting pretty in joint-second in the American League. 

~Tom Wilson

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