The Dodgers and Astros have already combined for 12 home runs through the first three games of the World Series. As the series heads has shifted Houston, might we see a dip in the long ball?
There is no doubt by now that Major League Baseball is a changed gamed. For instance, your typical power hitter of the past might have 20-30 home runs per season. Now, the best power hitters in the league are hitting 40+ a year, and they’re hitting them a long way. Take Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger for example.
There could be multiple explanations for this, some involving conspiracies and some just attributing it to a change of playing style. While some people truly believe that Major League Baseball has “juiced” baseballs to make them fly, others would just counter with the importance of launch angles.
Whatever you believe, the game has absolutely changed. And just watching the first two games of the World Series has certainly indicated that. Houston and Los Angeles combined for 11 home runs in just two games.
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In fact, of the 25 total runs scored this series, 15 of those have come directly from home runs. Of course, this was expected with these two high-powered offenses, especially Houston. During the regular season, the Astros hit the second most long balls at 238.
The Dodgers were a little bit different of a team during the regular season. Los Angeles hit the 11th most home runs, so roughly average for the league. All year long, they relied on reaching base and moving runners over to get the job done.
And that model worked, earning them a 104 win season and a playoff berth. The playoffs have just been different for Los Angeles, with no particular reason. They’ve hit the most home runs of any postseason team, with 19 before Friday night.
So what would cause a team that had so much success to change their style of play? Well, in short, the answer is more than likely nerves. It is the World Series after all, and they have to be amped up every single time they step into that box.
Chris Taylor set the stage for a home run derby, ripping the first pitch he saw almost entirely out of Dodger stadium. So, of course, you would have to expect everyone to follow suit.
What’s Next: The Dodgers are getting ready to play in Houston tonight, with Alex Wood set to take on Charlie Morton. Morton has pitched 13 innings this postseason, giving up just nine earned runs (seven in one game). But his last start came during Game 7 of the ALCS, and he threw five shutout innings.
Darvish has thrown just 4 and 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs, so this one is tough to gauge. The Dodgers may be a little familiar with Morton from his days in Pittsburg while the Astros have virtually no experience against Wood.