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Preview, #68: 6/11 @ Phillies

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Eight more home-runs for the D-backs? That’d be nice.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PHILLIES
Jarrod Dyson - RF Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Ketel Marte - CF Bryce Harper - RF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Jean Segura - SS
David Peralta - LF Rhys Hoskins - 1B
Kevin Cron - 1B J.T. Realmuto - C
Ildemaro Vargas - 2B Jay Bruce - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Scott Kingery - CF
Carson Kelly - C Sean Rodriguez - 3B
Jon Duplantier - RHP Jake Arrieta - RHP

Any questions about the juiced nature of the baseball this year were surely put to rest by yesterday’s game, which set an MLB single-game record, with 13 home-runs. The D-backs hit a franchise record eight, tying the MLB record and becoming the fourth team this year to hit as many in one game. The Twins have done it twice; the Dodgers did it against the D-backs in the opening series in Los Angeles; and now the D-backs got to be on the giving end (which is considerably more pleasant, it has to be said). There hasn’t been any previous season where it happened more than twice - and we’re not even half way through 2019. Wait until the weather starts to heat up...

At least, that’s the general perception. Is there truth to that belief? I look at the home-runs hit each month, from 1998 through the end of last season. Here are the results, ranked in increasing order of PAs per home-run.

HR by month, 1998-2018

Split HR PA PA/HR
Split HR PA PA/HR
August 19307 683783 35.42
June 18250 649381 35.58
July 17462 629510 36.05
May 18493 676340 36.57
Sept/Oct 18537 681952 36.79
April/March 15846 596963 37.67

It has been the case that home-runs are harder to hit at the beginning and end of the season. with August the peak month. Pitchers might need to brace themselves, considering that this year is already, far and away, the most home-run happy in major-league history, with an average of 1.35 per game. The next most was two years ago, when it was 1.26, but that’s the only time that it has been above 1.17. Put another way, this season is further from that third-placed season (2000 at 1.17), than 2000 is from the twenty-third placed season (2008 at 1.00). Still, as someone pointed out, it’s better for the balls to be juiced than the players!