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You probably already know that the regular season of Major League Baseball in 2020 will be just 60 games. But what does that mean for the players and what they can achieve in that short amount of time?

Whatever else happens, the numbers that players put up in their 60-game seasons will still be season totals, bound for their places on the backs of baseball cards and the pages of Baseball-Reference.com. While nobody’s going to set a single-season record for home runs or steals, a season this short could make possible a player achieving a rare single-season feat in one of baseball’s rate statistics — like batting average or earned run average. Could we see a .400 hitter, or a pitcher post an ERA under 1.00? Neither may be likely, but such feats also aren’t quite impossible in a season lasting just 60 games.

With that in mind and to give fans a sense of what this year’s leaderboards in the major statistical categories could end up looking like, we asked ESPN Stats & Information to share the MLB leaderboards through teams’ first 60 games over two periods. First, we have those numbers since 1945 to give you a historical perspective of what’s possible, as well as from the past five seasons (2015-2019) to show you what has been doable more recently by some of the game’s active stars.

Finally, remember that all of these numbers were achieved by these players in their team’s first 60 games played, not their individual first 60 games that those players appeared in. That’s an important distinction to keep in mind because, this year, there will be only those 60 team games on the schedule before we head into the postseason.

Hitting and offense

Best batting average, first 60 games since 1945
1994 Paul O’Neill .417
1997 Larry Walker .417
1948 Ted Williams .412
1983 Rod Carew .411
2008 Chipper Jones .409
Min. 3.1 PA/per team game

Best BA, first 60 games since 2015
2019 Cody Bellinger .376
2016 Daniel Murphy .374
2017 Ryan Zimmerman .365
2018 Mookie Betts .359
2015 Dee Gordon .356
Min. 3.1 PA/per team game

Most HR, first 60 games since 1945
2001 Barry Bonds 32
1998 Mark McGwire 28
1956 Mickey Mantle 27
1969 Reggie Jackson 26

Most HR, first 60 games since 2015
2019 Christian Yelich 22
2017 Aaron Judge 21
2015 Giancarlo Stanton 21
2019 Cody Bellinger 20
2019 Pete Alonso 20
2016 Mark Trumbo 20
2015 Bryce Harper 20

Most RBIs, first 60 games since 1945
1998 Juan Gonzalez 76
1999 Manny Ramirez 72
1954 Stan Musial 71
1998 Mark McGwire 70
1949 Ted Williams 69
1948 Ted Williams 69

The schedule is set for MLB’s sprint of a season. Here are the games we’re most looking forward to. David Schoenfield

Schedule winners and losers

60-game predictions | 60-game MVPs

Most RBIs, first 60 games since 2015
2016 David Ortiz 55
2019 Nolan Arenado 54
2019 Josh Bell 54
2019 Cody Bellinger 52

Most stolen bases, first 60 games since 1945
1982 Rickey Henderson 58
1981 Tim Raines 50
1987 Vince Coleman 42
1985 Vince Coleman 42
1988 Rickey Henderson 41

Most SB, first 60 games since 2015
2017 Billy Hamilton 28
2015 Billy Hamilton 25
2019 Adalberto Mondesi 22
2016 Jonathan Villar 22
2017 Trea Turner 21
2017 Dee Gordon 21

Pitching

Even in a 60-game season, Justin Verlander could add to his historic legacy. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Most strikeouts, first 60 games since 1945
1977 Nolan Ryan 167
1946 Bob Feller 152
1973 Nolan Ryan 149
1972 Steve Carlton 146
1999 Pedro Martinez 143
1999 Randy Johnson 143

Most strikeouts, first 60 games since 2015
2018 Max Scherzer 133
2017 Chris Sale 119
2019 Max Scherzer 117
2019 Gerrit Cole 116
2018 Gerrit Cole 116

Best ERA, first 60 games since 1945
2010 Ubaldo Jimenez 0.93
2000 Pedro Martinez 0.95
1988 John Tudor 1.03
1981 Bob Knepper 1.15
1968 Luis Tiant 1.22

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Best ERA, first 60 games since 2015
2018 Justin Verlander 1.24
2016 Clayton Kershaw 1.46
2019 Hyun-Jin Ryu 1.48
2018 Jacob deGrom 1.57
2017 Dallas Keuchel 1.67

Most Wins, first 60 games since 1945
1973 Wilbur Wood 14
1971 Vida Blue 13
1952 Bobby Shantz 13
8 pitchers with 12

Most wins, first 60 games since 2015
2018 Max Scherzer 10
2016 Jake Arrieta 10
11 pitchers with 9


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