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Paul Goldschmidt is a real threat to win the NL Triple Crown

Cardinals first baseman is trying to do something in the National League that hasn’t been done in 85 years

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt had a banner day at Wrigley Field on Thursday, picking up three hits, including two homers, and five RBI in a victory over the Cubs.

The performance snapped Goldschmidt’s little 2-for-13 slump and put him right back on track to accomplish something that hasn’t been achieved by a National League player since 1937.

It is officially time to go on Goldschmidt Triple Crown watch.

Entering Thursday night, here’s where the 34-year-old ranks in the Triple Crown categories among all NL players:

Batting average: .339 — first, 13 points ahead of Freddie Freeman
Home runs: 33 — second, one behind Kyle Schwarber
Runs batted in: 105 — first, three ahead of Pete Alonso

Never mind the fact that he also leads all Senior Circuit players in each of the triple-slash categories (.339/.420/.637).

Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera was the most recent Triple Crown winner in 2012, but there hasn’t been a winner in the NL since the Cardinals’ Joe Medwick in 1937. The feat has been pulled off only 12 times since RBI became an official stat in 1920. Only four NL players have done it, and coincidentally, three of them were Cardinals (Medwick, and Rogers Hornsby in 1922 and ‘25).

How has Goldschmidt been able to sustain this possibly historic season at a rather advanced age? For one thing, he has been remarkably, consistently productive. Here are his slash lines by month:

April: .282/.356/.372
May: .404/.471/.817
June: .323/.427/.636
July: .286/.355/.512
August (entering today): .364/.452/.714

Really, his only “poor” month was April, and that was solely due to his first 11 games. He had no home runs, one RBI and a .146 average during that early stretch. In the 107 games that followed: .358 average, 33 home runs, 104 RBI. That’ll play.

Goldy is also crushing literally all offerings from pitchers. His worst batting average comes against sliders, which he had seen 26.5 percent of the time prior to today’s game. And he’s batting a healthy .293 with a .525 slugging percentage against them. He is hitting at least .301 with a .550 slugging against every other pitch type. If you throw him a sinker (.393/.708), curveball (.406/.594) or changeup (.368/.658), good freakin’ luck. Those three pitches make up more than one-third of Goldschmidt’s pitch-type diet.

It also helps that he is protected in St. Louis’ lineup by Nolan Arenado, who just so happens to have the second-best NL MVP odds at +1200, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Goldschmidt, the NL MVP runner-up in 2013 and 2015, is the prohibitive favorite at the moment (-400). But he’s got more exclusive history in his sights, and it will be worth following his chase every night through St. Louis’ final 37 regular-season games.