Can Carlos Gonzalez Win the Triple Crown?

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Albert Pujols leads the NL with 35 homers, Adam Dunn is second with 34, and Gonzalez currently has 32 dingers on the year.  CarGo’s home run splits follow his batting average splits pretty closely, so the home-heavy schedule helps.  He has 25 homers at Coors Field, compared with only 7 on the road.  Against the Rockies remaining road opponents, CarGo has 4 homers against the Dodgers, 5 against the D-Backs, and 1 against the Cardinals this season.  He had 9 homers in July, 8 in August, and he currently has 3 in September.  If we assume CarGo can match his season high of 9 homers in a month, that would leave him with 38 total home runs.  This total probably won’t be enough to pass Pujols and Dunn, but if CarGo has a ridiculous hot streak or the other leaders struggle, he could take the lead.  I’d say Gonzalez has a 20% chance of winning the home run title.

Gonzalez currently leads the NL with 100 RBIs, 2 ahead of Joey Votto and 3 ahead of Albert Pujols.  CarGo’s performance in the RBI race is directly tied to the hitters ahead of him, and Eric Young, Jr. and Dexter Fowler have been doing a great job setting the table for Gonzalez.  Not surprisingly, CarGo’s RBI splits strongly mirror his HR and batting average splits.  He is better at home than on the road, and has performed better in the second half of the season.  Assuming Young and Fowler keep up their strong play, I believe Gonzalez has a 65% chance of winning the RBI crown.

Given my arbitrary percentage chances of Gonzalez winning each of the three Triple Crown categories, Carlos Gonzalez has a 12.35% chance of winning the Triple Crown.  If you’d like to assume that Gonzalez has a 50% chance of winning the home run title and an 80% chance of winning the RBI title, his chance of winning the Triple Crown increases to 38%.  There’s a reason this award is so tough to win, and the fact that Gonzalez is even in the discussion speaks to the tremendous season he has had.