Welcome to the 2nd edition of Baseball Bits. Since the 2006 White Sox only the 2015 Blue Jays have had 2 players with 40 homers and 100 RBI (40/100 duo). However this year, 4 teams including the Red Sox have a chance to have a 40/100 duo which my research shows is very rare (especially if you don’t count the “Steroid Era”). The Blue Jays have Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion, the Red Sox have Mookie Betts and David Ortiz, the Mariners have Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz and the Orioles have a trio of Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado and Chris Davis! The Orioles have never even had two players in the same season reach the 40/100 milestone! Below is my research and my “Baseball Bits” summary findings.
My Research: 40-100-duos-playoff-status-sheet1-1
- Only 22 teams have ever had two players with 40 HR, 100 RBI (40/100 duo)
- 15 teams with 40/100 duos missed the playoffs
- Only the 1927 and 1961 Yankees won the World Series with a 40/100 duo
- In the “Steroid Era” (1991-2003), 9 teams had a 40/100 duo but only 1 of the 9 made the playoffs, the Seattle Mariners but did not win the World Series or even make it
- In the years when 8 teams qualified for the playoffs, 9 of the 12 teams with a 40/100 duo missed the playoffs
- The only team with a 40/100 duo before 1950 was the New York Yankees; Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did it 3 times together
- Only 1 team has ever had two 50 HR hitters, the 1961 Yankees
- The Red Sox made the playoffs the 1 time they had a duo in 2005, Manny and Big Papi
- The Orioles have never had a duo, let alone a trio
- The Blue Jays have had a duo 3 times, making the playoffs once, and missing the playoffs in the two times they had 40/100 duos in the “Steroid Era”
- Only 5 of the 22 teams with a 40/100 duo are from the NL
- Only the 1969 Red Sox have had two players with 40 HR but not 100 RBI, when they missed the playoffs. Rico Petrocelli came close to making a duo with Carl Yastrzemski but only had 97 RBI
- The 2006 White Sox were the last team to miss the playoffs with a 40/100 duo but there has been only 1 other duo since, the 2015 Blue Jays who lost in the ALCS
- Of the 13 teams that achieved this outside of the “Steroid Era”, 7 made the playoffs, and 5 of the 6 that missed the playoffs did it before the playoffs expanded beyond 2 teams
40/100 duos are rare especially since the Steroid Era. About half the players from the era have been publicly accused of steroid use. The fact that 4 teams could potentially have 40/100 duos this year could be indicative of thinning pitching talent across the league. Or maybe there is a new undetected PED or a “live ball”.
The Orioles could be the first team ever to have a trio of 40/100 players! That’s just unbelievable! All of these teams are in playoff contention but have struggled on the mound. Will their pitching fail them or will they propel through October?
My bet is on the Red Sox to win the ALCS but they may end up being the only AL East team without a 40/100 duo of the 3 AL East teams with a chance to reach the milestone. But Ortiz and Betts have already reached a different 40/100 milestone with 40 doubles and 100 RBI.
I think the Sox boosted by the best AL pitching since the All-Star break plus a trio of 30/100 players in Ortiz, Betts, and the surging Hanley Ramirez, will show that pitching/hitting balance is still what is needed to go far into the postseason.