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The Long-ball is Leading the Dodgers Back to Success



Following a 3-homer win Saturday night at Coors Field against the division rival Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers have now won 10 of their last 14 games. This excellent run has been amplified by an increase in run production across the board for the Dodger hitters.

The key to this heightened run production has come chiefly by way of the long ball, a phenomenon that up until recent weeks has been abysmal among Dodger hitters. Over the last 13 games the Dodgers have hit 22 home runs. Furthermore, the Dodgers have hit 2 or more homers in 9 of those 13 games. To put this into perspective all we need do is look back over the first 44 games of the season where the Dodgers hit only 40 home runs.

One last statistical highlight. Over the first 44 games of the season, the Dodgers were hitting roughly 0.9 homers a game. In the past 13 games, they are averaging 1.7 homers per game. This is a rate that will put them on a trajectory to finish closer to the 2017 season average of home runs per game at 1.36. That will put anyone in a good mood.

Dodgers
May 30, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp (27) celebrates scoring a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in third inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Leading the home run brigade is Matt Kemp, who is making a compelling all-star case, with 9 home runs on the season. Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal, and Cody Bellinger all follow closely behind with 8 homers each. Max Muncy and Enrique Hernández each have 7 homers on the year.

 

Analysis:

In an increasing launch-angle, homer-hyped era of baseball, the Dodgers will need to capitalize on the long ball in order to continue to keep up with the front-runners of the NL West division. Reflecting on the 2017 season, the Dodgers led the NL West with 221 home runs on the year. Obviously, the long ball has not been the only reason the Dodgers are back to winning form, as the bullpen has patched up performance holes, Dodger hitters are practicing more patience with less strikeout totals, and there has been a handful of pristine starter performances from the likes of Walker Buehler and Ross Stripling. However, to show the importance of the long ball in today’s game, we look to the batting totals across the MLB and find that the top 7 teams in home runs hit this year all have 30-win records or more.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/all-star-voting-is-open-will-the-dodgers-matt-kemp-make-the-cut/2018/06/02/”]Matt Kemp All-star?[/button]

Written by Eric Morse

Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Eric has always had a love for baseball. Growing up visiting LA often to watch the Dodgers, Eric comes from a long line of Dodger fanatics. He spends his time ministering to youth and following the Dodgers.

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