Michael Cuddyer Leads NL Race For Batting Title


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 National League batting title will come down to two surprising candidates. It is a surprise that Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is in the hunt (currently batting .329) because, before this season, it wasn’t clear that he was any good at baseball. It is a surprise that Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer is in the hunt (currently batting .334) because he is 34 years old. A productive player still, sure, but not likely to have this kind of season.

If Cuddyer is going to pull it off, he will have to do so against some demanding pitching in the team’s final five games: two at home against the Boston Red Sox and three on the road against the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Cuddy and the rest of the offense face five really difficult match-ups as far as the projected starting pitchers are concerned:

Tuesday 9/24 – Jake Peavy (BOS)
Wednesday 9/25 – John Lackey (BOS)
Friday 9/27 – Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Saturday 9/28 – Zack Greinke (LAD)
Sunday 9/29 – Hyun Jin Ryu (LAD)

And of course those last three games are at the Dodgers, complicating matters further. Some comfort can be taken in the fact that both teams will likely have little to play for, so we might see shortened or even scratched outings. Besides, who are we to doubt 2013 Michael Cuddyer at this point?