Justin Morneau is barely leading his closest competitors in the AL batting race. He is hitting .370 with Robinson Cano second with a .363 average, Ichiro Suzuki third with a .358 average, and Miguel Cabrera is fourth with a .351 mark.

However he has a wide lead over his closest NL competitor Martin Prado who is hitting .328 and is eighth in the majors behind seven AL hitters. The next NL hitter is Joey Votto who is listed 12th with a .318 average and Albert Pujols is 14th with a .317 average.

Those stats show that the NL only has three hitters among the top fourteen hitters in the majors. One thing to remember though is that Andre Ethier who has spent time on the disabled list but doesn’t have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title is hitting .353 and should eventually have enough at-bats to qualify.

The AL has 25 players hitting .300 or higher while the NL has only 16. The AL has 11 players hitting .315 or higher while the NL has only four.

The AL has an amazing 13 players among the top 15 players in hits this season. Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano lead the majors with 82 hits. Martin Prado is second with 80 hits but the only other NL player in the top 15 is Ryan Braun who is listed ninth with 71 hits.

The AL home run leaders also lead the NL leaders with the AL players having 13 players with at least 12 home runs while the NL only has six.

When comparing AL and NL batting average for the 2010 season the AL is outhitting the NL by .260 to .257 but five of the seven worst hitting teams in the majors are surprisingly AL teams.

Evidently once getting past the top echelon of hitters the two leagues are much closer in batting average. It will be interesting to watch how the two leagues fare the rest of the season since there are about 100 games still left in the 2010 season.

Around the Diamond

Ubaldo Jimenez continued his mastery yesterday with a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks. The win improves his record to 11-1 with more than a month to the All Star game. After 12 starts Jimenez has not given up more than two runs in a game and yesterday was only his third start in which he allowed more than one run in 2010.

Tim Lincecum winner of the Cy Young award the last two seasons didn’t fare nearly as well as Jimenez as he couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead or a 3-2 lead. He received his fifth no-decision in his last eight starts and has won only once since April 23. He has only one win over those last eight starts.

Mark Teixeira continues to struggle as the season enters the third month. His 0 for 4 yesterday dropped his average to .211 and he is slugging only .363….Javier Vazquez is showing signs of breaking out of his early season slump after limiting the Blue Jays to two runs and one hit in seven innings as the Yankees defeated them 4-3. He has allowed only three runs and five hits combined over his last two starts and has won four of his last five starts.

John Jaso had a five RBI game for the Rays in their 9-5 win over the Rangers….Gio Gonzalez improved his record to 6-3 with a 5-4 win over the Twins.

Dubious Stats Leaders

Billy Butler of the Royals leads in grounded into double plays with 16….Ian Desmond shortstop for the Nationals has six more errors than any other major leaguer with 15 errors….Ryan Doumit has thrown out only four baserunners in 51 attempts this season and is actually worse than in 2009 when he threw out 20 in 64 attempts.

Charlie Morton leads all major league pitchers in losses with nine with Kenshin Kawakami and Roy Oswalt close behind with eight losses each….Jake Peavy who has led the NL twice in lowest earned run average has allowed more earned runs than any other pitcher allowing 48 runs to score this season.

Dan Haren has allowed the most home runs this season allowing 16 roundtrippers. Ian Kennedy and Kevin Millwood are next allowing 14 each….Clayton Kershaw leads the majors in walks allowed with 42 in 70 innings.

Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays leads all pitchers in wild pitches with 13 with Edwin Jackson second with 8….Trevor Hoffman and Tyler Clippard lead the majors in blown saves with five each. Hoffman does have five saves while Clippard has none but his 8-3 record ties him for the NL lead in wins.

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