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Thursday, July 18, 2013
Records in play as second half starts

By ESPN Stats & Information

AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyChris Davis had a prodigious first half, and he isn't the only player looking to rewrite the record book.
After four days off, all 30 MLB teams are back on the diamond on Friday. We get you ready for the key statistical storylines for the season’s second half.

WILL DAVIS CONTINUE TO CRUSH?
Chris Davis has had a career year –- and the season isn’t even 100 games old yet. Davis begins his unofficial second half with 37 home runs, 93 RBI and a .315 batting average.

Who else has hit those thresholds in their team’s first 96 games? The list is short -- only Babe Ruth (1921 and 1928) and Jimmie Foxx (1932).

He is on pace to hit 62 home runs, which would break the American League record of 61 by Roger Maris in 1961. And with 64 extra-base hits so far he could threaten Babe Ruth’s record of 119 in 1921.

CAN CABRERA TRIPLE HIS PLEASURE AGAIN?
Davis isn’t the only player tearing things up in the AL. Miguel Cabrera is first in the league with a .365 average and 95 RBI and trails only Davis with 30 home runs.

Entering this season, the only player to finish in the top five in each Triple Crown category a year after winning the Triple Crown was Frank Robinson in 1967. Only four players have led the league in any triple-crown category while defending the Triple Crown, and none have led more than one the following year.

WHAT OTHER SINGLE-SEASON MARKS ARE WITHIN REACH?
•  Manny Machado has 39 doubles at the break, the most since Edgar Martinez had 42 in 1996. On his current pace, he’ll threaten Earl Webb’s record of 67 two-baggers in 1931. No player has hit 60 doubles in a season since 1936.

•  Raul Ibanez has discovered the fountain of youth. Ibanez has hit 24 home runs this season and only needs six more to pass the 29 that Ted Williams hit in 1960 for the most by a player aged 41 or over.

•  Clayton Kershaw entered the break with a 1.98 ERA. The last pitcher to post an ERA below 2.00 for a full season was Roger Clemens in 2005. The only Dodgers pitcher to do so since the club moved to Los Angeles was Sandy Koufax, who did so three times.

•  So far this season, 19.75 percent of plate appearances have ended in a strikeout. That’s the most ever before the All-Star break, and just a fraction below last year’s full-season record of 19.78 percent.

MILESTONE WATCH
•  Derek Jeter is 10th on the all-time hit list with 3,305 career hits, but should surpass Eddie Collins (3,313) and Paul Molitor (3,319) to move into eighth place before the season ends.

Jeter could also move into the Top 10 all-time in runs scored. He has touched home 1,869 times in his career, 19 behind Lou Gehrig for 10th all-time and 29 behind teammate Alex Rodriguez for ninth.

•  His power hasn’t been as prodigious since joining the Los Angeles Angels, but Albert Pujols is still climbing up the all-time home run list. He needs 10 home runs in the second half to become the 26th player in major-league history with 500 home runs.