Josh Donaldson Hit Three Home Runs On Sunday To Strengthen His Case For Back-To-Back MVPs

The Toronto Blue Jays kicked the shit out of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.

The Blue Jays went into their three-game weekend series tied with the Red Sox for first place in the American League East, only Toronto drew the worst team in the league, and Boston drew the hottest team in baseball. Three games later, and the Blue Jays had earned themselves a little breathing room, emerging from their Minnesota massacre with a two-game lead in the division, capping the series off with the first three home run game in the career of Josh Donaldson.

As you probably know, Donaldson was voted as the American League MVP last year for the American League East champion Blue Jays. Through 126 games during his MVP season last year, Donaldson was hitting .296/.367/.577 with 34 doubles, 35 home runs and 102 RBI. Through 126 games this year, Donaldson’s hitting .294/.407/.578 with 26 doubles, 5 triples, 33 home runs, and 91 RBI. You could make the case that Donaldson is actually having a better season this year than he did last year when he won the MVP, although I still think Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve are having better seasons than Donaldson in 2016.

That doesn’t mean that Donaldson doesn’t have a really strong case, though. Toronto was a .500 team as late as May 29 (26-26), but since May 30, they have the best record in baseball at 48-30. Since that same date, Donaldson is hitting .320 with an OPS of 1.051, which is the highest batting average and OPS on the team. Over that span, Toronto is second to only the Colorado Rockies in runs per game (5.42), and Blue Jays starters are second to only the Cubs in ERA (3.81). Also, through 130 games this year, Toronto has a record of 74-56 with a two-game lead. Through 130 games last year, they were 74-56 with a game and a half lead, and they still won the division by six games.

PS — I didn’t give a take on the hat trick that Blue Jays fans did after Donaldson’s third home run, because I’ve got a completely separate blog coming up later today on that.