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Chasing Maris: Chris Davis catching up to AL home run record

He's not quite on pace for 61, but the last week improved his odds.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

With three home runs in the last week, Chris Davis has narrowed the gap between himself and Roger Maris' 1961 campaign, in which the Yankee slugger set an American League record with 61 blasts. Davis isn't quite where he needs to be yet, but there's plenty of season left, and more progress like this will put him in historic territory.

After 123 team games, 122 of which he has played, Davis has 45 homers. At the same point of time back in 1961, Maris had 49 homers. That makes it seem as if Davis is going to be hard-pressed to catch Maris, but the outfielder didn't keep up his record-shattering pace: he dropped from 64 potential homers to the still-record 61 over the rest of the season, besting Babe Ruth's 34-year-old record by a single homer.

Davis could very well have the same thing happen to him, dropping his chances of eclipsing Maris, but he's still close enough to believe this will be something to watch as the season winds down. Davis' 45 blasts in 122 games, assuming he plays in all of the Orioles' remaining games as Maris did with the Bombers back in '61, puts him on pace for 59 homers.

When we last checked in, he was on pace for 58 -- if he were to hit another three home runs this week, he'd suddenly be on target for 60, and close to the territory where you can round up to 61. It's getting to the point where you can believe that he's got these three-homer weeks in him, too, regardless of opponent, as he's parked 58 long balls in the last calendar year, to go with his line of .309/.385/.687: all it will take is one week that's better than the ones he's been having since this time last year to put him over Maris and finally snap the longstanding AL homer mark.

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