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Rays’ Yandy Diaz takes AL batting title from bench

With the benefit of sitting out the final game of the regular season, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Yandy Diaz won the American League batting title over the Texas Rangers’ Corey Seager with a .330 average.

Diaz trailed Seager by mere percentage points heading into Sunday’s game, with Seager at .3298 and Diaz at .3295.

The Rays’ playoff seeding already was set as the AL’s top wild-card team, allowing Diaz to be a spectator from the bench Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays. But with the Rangers still trying to win the AL West title, Seager played and went 0-for-4 to drop his batting average to .327.

Diaz is the first Tampa Bay player to win a batting title.

In the National League, the Marlins’ Luis Arraez won the batting title with a .354 average, the highest in a full season since the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton batted .359 in 2010. Arraez had just one at-bat, while collecting a hit, since he aggravated an ankle injury on Sept. 23.

At 26, Arraez is just the second player to win a batting title in both leagues after DJ LeMahieu did it for the Colorado Rockies (2016) and New York Yankees (2020). And Arraez did it in consecutive seasons after batting .316 for the Minnesota Twins last year.

The Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna finished a distance second in the NL with a .337 average, although he did have an NL-best 217 hits. Acuna also made MLB history with the first season of at least 40 home runs (41) and 70 stolen bases (73).

Esteury Ruiz of the Oakland Athletics led the AL with 67 steals, which also is a league record for a rookie.

The Braves’ Matt Olson led the NL in home runs with 54, while the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani led the AL with 44 despite not playing since Sept. 3 because of an oblique injury.

Olson also led the NL with 139 RBIs, while the Houston Astros Kyle Tucker led the AL with 112. The Rangers’ Marcus Semien led the AL with 185 hits.

NL Cy Young Award favorite Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres had a league-best 2.25 ERA, while the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole won the AL ERA title with a 2.63 mark.

The Braves’ Spencer Strider led the NL with 281 strikeouts, while the Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman led the AL with 237 strikeouts. Strider was the only 20-game winner in baseball, while the Blue Jays’ Chris Bassitt and the Rays’ Zach Eflin led the AL with 16 wins each.

The Cleveland Guardians’ Emmanuel Clase led the AL with 44 saves, while the Pittsburgh Pirates’ David Bednar and the San Francisco Giants’ Camilo Doval led the NL with 39 each.

–Field Level Media

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