After a slow start, the Dodger’s power game finally came to life in June. The Homer-Happy Dodgers blasted 55 HRs for the month, nearly matching the 56 homers they hit for all of March, April and May combined. As of the end of June, the Dodgers led the National League with 111 round-trippers.
The Dodgers set a team record with 221 HRs in 2017, averaging 1.36 dingers per game. Unfortunately, that power didn’t seem to follow them into 2018. Through the end of May, Dodger hitters were only averaging 1 HR/Game. A far cry from last season’s record-setting pace. Many Dodger faithful were starting to wonder (and worry!) what happened to the power?
As the weather started to heat up in June, so did the Dodger bats. In their 26 games in June, Dodger hitters were averaging over 2 HR/Game. Their 55 home runs led all of baseball and nearly doubled their total for the year. It also set a new franchise record for June, breaking the team record of 53 HRs they set last June in the midst of their historic 79 – 23 run.
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But this power exhibition wasn’t just good by Dodger standards; it was good by historical standards. The Dodgers fell just one home run shy of the June record of 56 set by the 2016 Orioles and just three shy of the all-time record for any month set by the 1987 Orioles and the 1999 Mariners.
The good news for the Dodgers is their power-surge wasn’t limited to one or two players having a great month. Five different players had 6 or more home runs, and virtually every “regular” player in the lineup contributed. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy led the way with 10 HRs each. Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, and Matt Kemp followed with 8 HRs, 7 HRs, and 6 HRs, respectively. Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner each added 4 HRs. Finally, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor, and Logan Forsythe also contributed with 3 HRs, 2 HRs and 1 HR, respectively.
In 2017 the Dodger had eight players with double-digit HRs and 6 with over 20 HRs. Through the first half of 2018, the Dodgers already have six players with double-digit HRs and have eight on pace for over 20 HRs. And that’s despite Turner being sidelined for over 40 games and losing Corey Seager for the year in April! The resurgent Pederson has matched his HR total for all of 2017, while both Hernandez and Muncy have already set personal records for most home runs in a season.
With June in the books, the Dodgers are now averaging 1.35 HRs/Game and are within striking distance of last year’s record-setting pace. Kind of makes you wonder what they could do with a healthy Seager and with any kind of offense from second base!