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How Rougned Odor's breakout season is powering the Rangers

Rougned Odor is approaching the Rangers' single-season record for home runs by a second baseman. AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Rougned Odor enters Wednesday Night Baseball as one of the hottest hitters in baseball.

From Aug. 30 through the start of play Wednesday, Odor ranked tied for first in the majors in batting average (.500), second in OPS (1.603), second in home runs (six) and first in RBIs (16).

Odor’s production at the plate has helped the Texas Rangers pull away in the American League West. They lead the Houston Astros by 8 ½ games in the division and have a 99.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Fangraphs.com, heading into Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners (10 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Elite offensive production at second base

According to the Elias Sports Bureau research, Odor is the youngest player in major league history to play the majority of his games in a season at second base and hit 30 home runs.

Odor needs six more home runs the rest of the way to tie Alfonso Soriano’s mark for the most in a season by a Rangers second baseman. Odor has six home runs in his past seven games.

The 30 home runs this season for Odor are eight more than any other second baseman in an age-22-or-younger season. Bobby Doerr’s 22 home runs in 1940 rank second on that list, and Odor’s 16-homer season in 2015 ranks fifth.

Inside the power surge

Odor has proved he can hit just about any pitch out of the park this season. If you divide the strike zone into nine equal squares, Odor has at least two home runs in every zone but one.

He also has six home runs on pitches that were above the zone or outside.

The three longest home runs of Odor’s career have all come this season. His longest, a 464-foot homer against the Royals in July, is the longest by a second baseman since D.J. LeMahieu hit one 467 feet at Coors Field last September.

Nineteen of Odor’s 30 home runs have been off fastballs this season, which ranks 15th in MLB. He has a .341/.370/.694 triple-slash line in 232 at-bats ending with fastballs on the year. Odor’s line against all other pitch types is .240/.253/.390 in 300 at-bats.

His OPS drop of 421 points from at-bats ending with fastballs compared to at-bats ending with all other pitch types is the fourth-largest drop out of 153 qualified hitters. Only Scooter Gennett, Mark Trumbo and Jason Kipnis have seen their production fall off more against non-fastballs than Odor has this season.

Pitchers have adjusted as the season has gone on. Over 48 percent of the pitches Odor saw in April were fastballs. That percentage has been under 45 percent in all but one month since and it is down to a season-low 43 percent in September.