5 numbers to watch for MLB's final week: Milestones, ugly history on the horizon

There's plenty play for as Major League Baseball's playoff races intensify in the final week of the 2023 regular season.

Some of baseball's top players are chasing down individual milestones, others are looking to avoid making the wrong type of history and one of the highest-spending teams in history is suddenly in position to make a horribly disappointing season look somewhat respectable.

Here's a look at five numbers to watch for in the final six days of the regular season:

Freddie Freeman has posted the first 200-hit season of his career.
Freddie Freeman has posted the first 200-hit season of his career.

Freddie Freeman's quest for 60 doubles

There hasn't been a 60-double season in the majors since 1936, but the Dodgers' first baseman enters Tuesday with 57 and seven games to play. Averaging a double per 2.7 games, the former MVP is on pace to take his chase down to the final days of the year.

“I think this season, as a whole, it's unprecedented,” manager Dave Roberts said of Freeman. “If you look at the hits, the average, the home runs, the doubles … It seems like every night, we're always tipping our cap to Freddie on some accomplishment, and that's fantastic.”

Nick Castellanos was a near-miss in 2019, finishing with 58 doubles in his season split between the Tigers and Cubs. Todd Helton (59) and Carlos Delgado (57) each pushed for the milestone in 2000, the highest totals since 1936.

Kyle Schwarber’s batting average

Schwarber enters Tuesday batting .197, the lowest batting average in history for a player with 40 home runs, which would break Adam Dunn’s .204 mark back in 2012.

The Phillies slugger’s battle with the Mendoza Line is also something to keep an eye on, having raised his average nearly 20 points since the middle of August.

Schwarber reached 100 RBI for the first time in his career and could set a career-high in home runs, entering Tuesday with 45 – after hitting 46 last season – as the Phillies get ready for a second consecutive postseason..

Ronald Acuña Jr. nearing 150 runs

The Braves’ leadoff man enters Tuesday with 40 home runs and 68 steals, effectively creating the 40/60 Club and leads the majors with 143 runs.

There have only been two 150-run seasons in the Integration Era: Jeff Bagwell with 152 in 2000 and Ted Williams with 150 in 1949.

You assume the Braves will give the MVP favorite some rest this week, but he only may need one at-bat, having scored 40 first-inning runs this season – the most since 2008.

Matt Olson pushing 140 RBI

Atlanta's first baseman has 133 RBI entering Tuesday and should pass Eddie Matthews (135 in 1953) for the club's highest single-season total since Hugh Duffy (145) in 1894.

No player in baseball has driven in 140 runs since 2009, a mark that had been reached every year since 1996. Before that streak started, only two players had 140 RBI in a season from 1971 to 1995.

The Padres vs. .500

It’s been a hugely disappointing season for San Diego, but they’ve been hot in September and actually have a chance to finish above .500, entering Tuesday at 77-80.

The Padres were 10 games under on Sept. 13 before reeling off an eight-game winning streak that put them in the race for a respectable third place in the NL West, with the Giants (78-79) losing seven of 10 to fall out of the wild-card race.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB's final week: Stats to know, milestones within reach