Those 13 homers in a single game are an MLB record.
Speaking of MLB records, the league and its constituent squadrons are on pace to shatter the relevant marks. No, we’re not quite at the halfway point of the season, but teams are closing in on or already past the 70-game mark. In other words, we’re no longer talking about a tiny sample size, and at the team and league levels it’s not too soon to talk about paces.
With that in mind, consider the following digits:
- Teams this season are averaging 1.36 home runs per game, which would break the all-time record of 1.26 set in 2017.
- Stated another way, we’re on pace to see 6,591 home runs at the MLB level this season. The current record of 6,105 was set, again, in 2017. If that pace holds, then that’ll amount to almost an 8 percent increase over the current record. There’s breaking a record, and then there’s crushing it. This would be an example of the latter.
- Last season, the Yankees set the all-time team record with 267 home runs. In 2019, three teams are on pace to break that record. The Twins are on pace for 317 (!), the Mariners are on pace for 291, and the Brewers are on pace for 284.
- In 2017, 17 teams hit at least 200 home runs for the season. That’s a record. This year, 23 teams are on pace to hit at least 200 home runs.
- When it comes to a team’s percentage of total runs that come from homers, 2019 squads occupy the top three spots all-time (the Brewers, Padres, and Mariners), four of the top five, and eight of the top 15.
Hey, and we’re not even to the hot months of the summer.
So what’s going on? Well, the baseball itself is almost certainly juiced, and most hitters have bought into increasing their launch angle so as to hit for more power. In a related matter, the 2019 season is on pace to have the lowest ground-ball percentage on record. Mostly, though, it’s probably the baseball.
Whatever your opinion on the reasons for the ongoing power surge, the 2019 season will likely break new ground when it comes to dingers at the team and league level.