Only five American League teams finished at or above .500
The only American League teams that finished the regular season with winning percentages of .500 or higher are the five A.L. teams that qualified for the playoffs, all of which had winning records (the Indians, Astros, Red Sox, Yankees and Twins). It is the first time that either the American or National League had as few as five teams finish a season with as many or more wins than losses since the major leagues expanded to 30 teams in 1998.
Every major-league manager went “wire-to-wire” this season
Brad Ausmus will not be returning as the Tigers’ manager in 2018, nor will Pete Mackanin for the Phillies, and although their fates were sealed earlier last week, they both finished the season for their respective teams. Terry Collins announced his resignation as the Mets’ manager after Sunday’s season finale. Every major-league manager who began the 2017 season spent the entire season in that position. There have been only two other seasons over the last 75 years in which the manager of every major-league team went “wire-to-wire” in that position: 2000 and 2006.
Nothing new as the American League best the National League in interleague play
The Diamondbacks defeated the Royals in the final interleague game of the year. The American League took the season series from the National League, 160–140. This was the 14th consecutive year in which the A.L. had the upper hand in interleague play.
No pitcher won more than 18 games this season
Jason Vargas started and lost the Royals’ season finale against the Diamondbacks. Vargas ended the year with an 18–11 record, tied with Clayton Kershaw (18–4), Corey Kluber (18–4) and Carlos Carrasco (18–6) for the most wins in the majors. It was the third non-shortened season in major-league history in which no pitcher won as many as 20 games. It also happened in 2006 when Chien-Ming Wang and Johan Santana tied for the major-league lead with 19 wins, and in 2009 when four pitchers (Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Adam Wainwright) tied for the MLB lead, each with 19 wins.
Votto: one of three players to lead his team in the triple-crown categories
Joey Votto led the Reds in batting average (among qualifiers), home runs and runs batted in this season, as he also did in 2010. The only other players who produced two such seasons for Cincinnati during the expansion era (1961 to date) are Frank Robinson (1962 and 1964), Dave Parker (1984–1985) and Eric Davis (1987 and 1989).
The only other batting qualifiers who led their respective teams in each of the triple-crown categories this season were Paul Goldschmidt and Justin Smoak. That is the major leagues’ lowest total of “team Triple-Crown” winners in any season since 1999, when there were also only three such players: Manny Ramirez (Indians), Vladimir Guerrero (Expos) and Brian Giles (Pirates).
Another batting title for the Rockies
Charlie Blackmon won the National League batting title with a .331 average. The Rockies have had the National League batting champion 11 times in 25 years since their debut in 1993, and nine different Colorado players have contributed to its total: Larry Walker won three titles, and Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, DJ LeMahieu and Blackmon have each won one. The only other team that produced its league’s batting title winner as many as five times over the last 25 years is Detroit (four by Miguel Cabrera and one for Magglio Ordonez).
Martinez is the top slugger in the major leagues
J.D. Martinez’s combined slugging percentage for the Tigers and Diamondbacks this season was a robust .690 (.630 for Detroit and .741 for Arizona). Giancarlo Stanton (.631) produced the highest slugging percentage among National League qualifiers (minimum: 502 plate appearances) and Mike Trout (.629) took that honor among American Leaguers who achieved the minimum qualification.
However, Martinez officially finished the season as the major-league slugging-percentage leader, despite not qualifying in either league and coming up 13 plate appearances shy of the minimum of 502. When Martinez’s shortfall of 13 plate appearances are assigned to him as hitless at-bats, according to rule 9.22(a), his slugging percentage is still higher than any qualifier in the majors.
Stanton falls shy of the magic number
Giancarlo Stanton became the second player in major-league history to finish a season with exactly 59 home runs. When Babe Ruth did that in 1921, that total represented the single-season major-league record. (Ruth had broken his own major-league record of 54 homers set the previous year, his first with the Yankees). Six years after hitting 59, Ruth broke his own record again, hitting 60 in 1927, a record that stood until Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961.
Marlins’ “average” offense produces two of the top three RBI totals in the majors
Giancarlo Stanton finished the season as the major league’s RBI leader, with 132, while his teammate, Marcell Ozuna, ranked third with 124 runs batted in. (Nolan Arenado was sandwiched between them with 130 RBIs.) The Marlins are the first team in major-league history to place two players within MLB’s top three in RBIs in a season while not ranking within the top ten teams in runs scored. (Miami’s total of 778 runs was the 11th highest in the majors this season.)
Altuve is the American League Hit King
Jose Altuve went 0-for-2 in the Astros’ win over the Red Sox on Sunday. Altuve finished with an American-League-high 204 hits this year, the fourth consecutive season in which he was the league’s outright leader in that category. Altuve is the first player in major-league history to be his league’s outright leader in hits in each of four consecutive seasons. Ichiro Suzuki led the A.L. in hits in every year from 2006–2010, but he was tied for the league lead with Dustin Pedroia in 2008. Altuve produced 845 hits over the last four seasons, the most for any player over a four-season span since Ichiro had 890 hits from 2007 through 2010.
No team has ever finished a season like the 2017 Indians
The Indians defeated the White Sox and finished the season with a 33–4 record since they embarked on their historic winning streak on August 24. That is the best record that any major-league team has ever fashioned over its last 37 decisions of a season, breaking the mark that was established by the 1906 Cubs (32–5).