Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis is off to his best offensive start since 2013.
The Baltimore Orioles have played seven games this season, and first baseman Chris Davis if off to an excellent start. In 29 plate appearances, Davis is 10-for-26 (.385) and has hit two home runs with two doubles.
This year is Davis’ hottest start through seven games since the 2013 season. Remember, that was the year he led the majors with 53 home runs.
Through the first seven in 2013, Davis hit .417, with four home runs and three two-baggers. He also struck out four times and walked four times as well. Davis finished that season with a .286 batting average, the highest of his career.
No matter how you look at it, Chris Davis tends to have better seasons when it’s an odd-numbered year.
As far-fetched as it sounds, it’s true; Chris Davis plays better in odd numbered years. Don’t believe me? Well, the stats from 2013 are above, but what about the following seasons?
The year the Orioles won the American League East title, Chris Davis struggled. He finished that season with a .196/.300/.404 line while hitting 26 home runs, and knocking in 72 runs. His strikeout percentage shot up to 33%, and he averaged 17.3 at-bats without hitting a home run.
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The next season, the 2015 season, Davis’ power production returned, and he once again led all of baseball in home runs with 47. Davis’ 12.2 at-bats per home run also led the majors, and he finished with a slash line of .262/.361/.562.
Although his power had returned, Davis was hacking at the first pitch 40.2% of the time, up by 5.7% from the previous season, which led to him leading the majors in strikeouts with 208.
Last season, Davis did manage to hit 38 home runs, but his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage all decreased from the year prior. His slash line read .221/.332/.459, and once again he led the world in strikeouts with 219. That’s a career high, by the way. He also had 27.6% of strikes called without him swinging the bat, which is the highest of his career to date.
A trend of good offensive numbers versus postseason appearances.
Chris Davis wants to reverse a trend that has been occurring since the Orioles returned to postseason baseball. When Davis plays well offensively, the Orioles miss the postseason entirely, however, when Davis’ offensive production is down, they play October baseball.
In 2013, the Orioles finished with an 85-77 record in third place, 12 games behind the division champion Boston Red Sox. In 2014, the Orioles won the AL East title, their first in 17 years.
Unfortunately, Davis was unable to play in the postseason. As reported by MLB.com, Davis was suspended 25 games for testing positive for amphetamines, associated with the drug Adderal.
The Orioles could not repeat success in 2015, missing the postseason again, and finishing with an 81-81 record. Following their first season of .500 baseball with Buck Showalter, the Orioles were back in the postseason in 2016, finishing 89-73 and taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wildcard round.
Coincidental or not, when the Orioles play well enough to make the postseason, Davis doesn’t have the best offensive years. That is something that he is trying to change, in year number two of his seven-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles.