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MLB records that could get broken in 2020

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

June 30th, 2020

Though they’ll potentially be marked with huge asterisks, we could see some age-old records get shattered during the upcoming 60-game MLB season. Here is a sampling of three records that could be threatened in 2020.

Highest batting average

Rogers Hornsby holds the high-water mark for batting average in the live-ball era (post-1920) at .424. The last batsman to hit .400 or better in a season was Ted Williams in 1941 (.406).

It’s not outrageous to think that someone will hit .400 over a 60-game season. Cody Bellinger hit above .400 through 47 games during his NL MVP campaign just last year. Looking further back, Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hit .429 in 76 games following the All-Star break in 2004, and Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit .408 during the final 72 games of 2016.

Lowest ERA

Bob Gibson’s 1.12 ERA from 1968 that resulted in the mound being lowered, is the modern standard for lowest ERA in a season. This mark could be challenged during a 60-game campaign.

Hyun-Jin Ryu’s ERA was as low as 1.26 during his hot start to 2019. In 2018, Mets ace Jacob deGrom had a 0.90 ERA over a 70-inning stretch, and that’s about as many innings as most starters will go in 2020.

Most pitching wins while undefeated

The record-holder in this category depends on personal point of view. Tom Zachary went 12-0 (11 starts, 26 games) for the 1929 Yankees. Roy Face went 18-1 pitching mostly in relief for the 1959 Pirates but was 17-0 at one point, the longest such streak of wins without a loss in MLB history.

Starters in 2020 will probably be tasked with no more than 12 starts, making it very difficult to approach Zachary’s mark. But perhaps a reliever, especially with the three-batter minimum rule now in play, can make a run at Face’s mark. Don’t count on it though.


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