The number of home runs hit this season is the big talk going around Major League Baseball. Just by looking at these stats, you can see why home runs are the talk in the league.
Slugging for Records
Christian Yelich is on pace for 60 home runs, even though he has missed multiple games this season. If he continues on this pace, he will become only the sixth player to hit 60 home runs in a season. He will join Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Maris, and Babe Ruth.
Mets rookie Pete Alonso is second with 27 home runs and has a chance to challenge Aaron Judge’s rookie record of 52 home runs in a season.
Starting the beginning this week, 22 players had at least 19 home runs, which is on pace to hit 40. That would break the MLB record of 17 players from 1996.
There are a lot of surprising names on this year’s home run leaderboard. Hunter Renfroe has hit 23, Jorge Soler hit 21, Ketel Marte hit 20, Josh Bell hit 20, Max Kepler hit 19, Derek Dietrich hit 18, and Daniel Vogelbach has hit 18.
Obviously, with all these numbers, there is another side that is struggling this year as well. The number of home runs teams are giving up are astounding.
The Baltimore Orioles are on pace to give up a total of 324 home runs. That is enough to give up 36 home runs to each spot in the lineup. Last year, Nolan Arenado led the NL with 38 home runs.
Texas Rangers Drew Smyly gave up 19 home runs in only 51 1/2 innings before he was released last week. His rate of 3.33 home runs per 9 innings is the worst ever for a minimum of 50 innings. Consider this, though:
Eleven pitchers with at least 10 innings have a higher home run rate than Smyly. These include Alex Cobb, who has allowed nine home runs in 12 1/2 innings, Edwin Jackson, 12 in 25 1/2, Dan Straily, 22 in 47 1/2, and Drew Steckenrider, who has allowed nine hits in 14 1/2 innings, six of which have been home runs.
Effect of the Long Ball
The overall runs scored per game continue within historical norms at 4.78 per game, the most since 2007. Although, because of the number of home runs hit, it has reduced the number of singles and stolen bases. The more home runs are sent out of the park, the louder the fans cheer.