With MLB sluggers on pace to break the (collective) single-season home run record here in 2016, close races should be expected. But, for the most part, those races have come from the American League – with just two of the top ten (and four of the top twenty) sluggers coming from the NL.
But even as Kris Davis (40), Brian Dozier (41), Edwin Encarnacion (42), and Mark Trumbo (43) battle it out for top honors in the AL, I’d argue that the more exciting battle comes from the National League. There, Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado have been exchanging blows back-and-forth for the past few weeks – and both adding long balls last night.
Check out Bryant’s first:
In a real nail-biting 7-2 ballgame, Kris Bryant did as Kris Bryant does, launching his 38th home run deep into the Wrigley Field bleachers (where it presumably landed in a cup of beer). According to Statcast, the ball traveled 411 feet, after leaving the bat at 109 MPH. Of course, Bryant’s 31 degree launch angle is what gives the ball his patented “Saturn 5” trajectory.
Unfortunately, his 38 long balls didn’t hold up (tied) for first place the entire night, because Nolan Arenado also went deep in Colorado.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 22, 2016
In a slightly closer 2-1 ball game, Arenado crushed his 39th homer of the season in grand slam fashion. And while his may have come in the anti-gravity chamber that is Coors Field, he still hit it 102 MPH at a perfect 25 degree launch angle, before sending it 424 feet.
So the final tally entering play today is Nolan Arenado – 39, followed by Kris Bryant – 38, with just ten games left to play. Offense may still be down in general, but home runs are alive and well in MLB. And the race for the NL Home Run King is a close one – who do you think will come out on top?
Who will have the most home runs by the end of the season?
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 22, 2016