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Astros, Dodgers set World Series Home Run Record

Astros, Dodgers set World Series Home Run RecordThe 2017 World Series only features three of the top 50 home run leaders from the regular season (Cody Bellinger – 39, George Springer – 34, Yasiel Puig – 28). However, the long ball has never been more frequent in the fall classic than this year.

The record was set through only five games, as the home run total between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros reached 22, surpassing the previous total of 21 set by the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants in 2002. That series went a full seven games and featured the single-season and all-time home run leader Barry Bonds.

Houston and Los Angeles have combined to have 14 players go yard, and the number could continue to grow with the way the series has gong so far. No lead has been safe no matter who is pitching. Starters, relievers, and closers have all been subject to giving up base hits and the perpetual long ball.

Who all has hit a home run so far? That list would include: Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Joc Pederson, Puig, Bellinger, Charlie Culberson, Brian McCann, Marwin Gonzalez, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Justin Turner. Springer leads the way with three homers, as he also is tied for the World Series lead in plate appearances with 25.

Where are all the home runs coming from? Some people say the baseballs are juiced. There was a report that the balls are slicker than normal. Either way, the regular season saw 6,105 home runs, 412 more than the previous record-breaking year in 2000. The home run trend continued into the post season and eventually the World Series.

Perhaps the balls are different on the inside than in years past. But take a look at how players swing nowadays. They swing out of their shoes on virtually every pitch. The swing plane is an upward trajectory as players are trying to send the ball as high and as far as possible. Combine that with the natural progression of size and power in athletes, and the home runs are not quite as surprising.

Astros, Dodgers set World Series Home Run RecordWatch Altuve swing during an at-bat. The MVP candidate stands only 5’6” with spikes on but he has 24 regular season home runs in each of the past two seasons. He swings so ferociously that when he makes contact it is a surprise if the ball doesn’t leave the yard.

Players are constantly getting bigger and stronger. Except in Altuve’s case he is shorter but swings harder. He may not hit the 500-foot homers like Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, but he is an unconventional looking 3-hole hitter. Home run numbers might be inflated by the makeup of the ball, but hitters are doing their part to make sure the ball is going as far as it possibly can no matter what it is made of.

The Astros were 2nd in MLB this season with 238 home runs, trailing only the New York Yankees who had 241. The Dodgers were 11th with 221.

Los Angeles pitchers gave up 184 home runs in the regular season (5th best). The Houston pitching staff surrendered 192 homers, the 11th best number in the Majors.

We have yet to see a pitcher hit a home run this World Series, but that could change with the final two games being played in a National League park. Game 6 could be the best chance, as pitcher at-bats will probably be hard to come by in a Game 7 winner-take-all and Johnny Whole Staff on the mound.

No matter what the score is in the remaining games, don’t turn off the TV or leave the stadium. The home runs have been flying, and they have been difference makers in tying up games and breaking up ties. They have shifted momentum and kept fans of both teams and fans in general on the edge of their seats the entire post season. You wouldn’t want to miss the one that wins it all.

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