Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, June 25, 2018

Putting the June Homers in Perspective

Through 21 games in the month of June, the Dodgers are on pace to possibly make history by hitting the most home runs by a team in a month.  They need 55 dingers tie the N.L. record and after tonights 2-1 win over the Cubs thanks to the Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor solo shots, they are at 48.  That means the club needs seven homers to tie and eight to break the record in their final six games.  Piece of cake right?  After all, they hit seven alone on Sunday at New York.

Enrique Hernandez following his third home run against Chicago in the 2017 NLCS Game 5 (Getty Images)

Last year’s pennant winning team had a club record of 221 homers.  As good as the Dodgers are looking now, they find themselves behind last year’s home run pace.  At their current 2018 rate, they will finish the season with 217 homers.  That’s not too bad when you consider the Dodgers entered the month of June with a mere 56 home runs.  So in a 21 game period in June the Dodgers have hit 46% of their homers.  

221 homers in a season may seem to be off the charts, but it is hardly close to the all time season record for a team.   The '97 Mariners had 264 homers.  Last years total lands the Dodgers in 22nd place all-time.  It should be noted though that 16 of those teams that hit more than 221 home runs in a year were steroid era teams (1996-2007), so it is safe to say that most of those power laden ball cluns produced tainted stats.

Now to take these numbers into the Ross Porter realm of statistical analysis, consider this:  No Dodger team in Brooklyn or Los Angeles is even close to 221 home runs in a seasonhese.  Not the Snider/Campanella/Hodges Brooklyn teams in the 50‘s that led the NL in homers for seven consecutive seasons, nor the 1977 club that featured 4 players with 30 homers or more (Garvey, Cey, Reggie Smith and Baker).  Neither did the Shawn Green/Beltre/Sheffield teams in the early 2000s, and not the ’74 pennant winning club with the Toy Cannon in CF and an emerging young MVP named Steve Garvey.  The 2017 and 2018 Dodgers teams are the cream of the crop when it comes to round trippers.

It is highly likely that eight players on this year’s club will finish with twenty homers or more and if Justin Turner gets hot in the second half, there may be nine.  That’s quite the feat and something that not even the 1997 Seattle Mariners with their team record setting 264 homers could achieve.  (Seattle had six players with over 20 homers, but Griffey had 56 and Jay Buhner added 40).

Oh, one more thing of the importance regarding the June home runs.  The Dodgers are winning, and of course in games which they homer they are 15-3.  In the three homerless games in the month, they have a winless 0-3 record.  It is safe to say the 2018 Dodgers may end up have the greatest power numbers in franchise history.  Even with the inevitable power drop-off that will occur, a mediocre home run pace will put them right near where they finished last season.

June Home Run Stats:
Pederson - 9
Muncy - 8
Kemp - 7
Bellinger - 7
Hernandez - 5
Puig - 4
Grandal - 3
Turner - 2
Taylor - 2
Forsythe - 1

Home Runs of the road - 30
Home Runs at home - 18
Grand Slams -2
3 run homers - 2
2-run homers - 12
Solo homers - 32
% of runs scored attributed to home runs: 53%

Games remaining in June (all at home): 3 vs. Chicago, 2 vs. Colorado
Home runs needed to break the National League record for most homers in a month: 8
Home runs needed to break the Major League record for most homers in a month: 11

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