Making History: Most Homers in One Month

Will the Braves mash their way into the history books? Hopefully, and the odds look good based on what they’ve been able to do so far this season. The history I’m talking about is the record for most home runs hit in a single month, which the Dodgers just broke with 57 in the month of August passing the Braves clip of 56 in June 2019.

Freddie Freeman, NL MVP hopeful, has 6 home runs this September

These teams keep going at it trying to steal the record from the other. The 2003 Braves held the record at 55 until the 2018 Dodgers matched them at 55. Then the 2019 Braves took over with their 56 until last month when the Dodgers stole the title back. Now the Braves are yet again sneaking up behind the Dodgers to snatch the belt as they close in on 58 homers in the month of September.

Where do they stand now?

Thus far, the Braves have hit 45 home runs in 19 September games. That is 2.37 HR/game this month. They have 7 games left to break the record and they’ll need to hit 13 more (1.86 HR/game) to reach 58. If they can successfully do it, they would achieve the feat in 3 less games than the Dodgers hit 57 in August.

What are the odds?

The Braves have 7 games left against 2 teams that are pretty bad at keeping the ball in the yard. They’ll play:

4 vs the Marlins, allowing 1.43 HR/G (21st in the MLB)

3 vs the Red Sox, allowing 1.72 HR/G (30th in the MLB)

These averages are below the average the Braves will need to hit in order to break the record. Let’s break it down by hitter in the Braves lineup. I will use a general guess for playing time over the last 7 games.

Ronald Acuña Jr has 6 home runs this September, but none in his last 6 games

Lineup Breakdown

Ronald Acuña Jr: 7 games, averaging 0.31 HR/G: 2 HRs

Freddie Freeman: 7 games, averaging 0.21 HR/G: I’ll give Freddie 2 HRs because he is unbelievably hot right now.

Marcell Ozuna: 7 games, averaging 0.29 HR/G: 2 HRs

Travis d’Arnaud: 5 games, averaging 0.24 HR/G: 1 HR

Dansby Swanson: 7 games, averaging 0.14 HR/G: 1 HR

Adam Duvall: 7 games, averaging 0.32 HR/G: 2 HRs

Austin Riley: 7 games, averaging 0.16 HR/G: 1 HR

Nick Markakis: 6 games, averaging 0.03 HR/G: 0 HR

Ozzie Albies: 7 games, averaging 0.4 HR/G since coming off the IL: 2 HRs

Tyler Flowers: 3 games, averaging 0.06 HR/G: 0 HR

Adding up all the average estimations, the Braves would hit around 13 home runs, exactly what they need to beat the record.

Can They Do It?

They will not face Alcantara in their series against the Marlins, which should help their cause and the bullpens of both teams are undoubtedly less than great which should help with a few late inning bombardments. It’ll be a nail biter, but the Braves are undoubtedly capable of beating the record and taking back the title once again from the Dodgers.

Braves Playoff Magic Numbers

One of my great sources with all things concerning MLB Rules and Roster moves, Boggy of Knockahoma Nation, sent out some information regarding the Braves magic number to clinch the division for the 3rd straight season. Here’s that info (’twas Tweeted so mind the abbreviations):

The Braves magic # over MIA is 5. ANY combination of 5 ATL wins or MIA losses eliminates MIA from the division race. BUT, if ATL takes 2 of 4 from MIA during the series that starts tonight, MIA is eliminated from the division race b/c ATL would own the tiebreaker. The Braves magic # over PHI is 4. ANY combination of 4 ATL wins or PHI losses eliminates PHI from the division race. The Braves magic # to clinch a playoff berth is also 4. Those 3 magic numbers are calculated SEPARATELY. The earliest the #Braves could possibly clinch the division is tomorrow night, Tuesday, Sept 22. If ATL wins it’s first 2 games vs MIA, and PHI loses it’s first 2 games vs WSH, the Braves would be the 2020 NL East champs, by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over MIA. WSH is hosting a DH vs PHI with game 1 starting tomorrow at 3:05pm It’s possible that the Braves could KNOW they can clinch with a win tomorrow night, assuming they win tonight, PHI loses tonight, and PHI loses game 1 tomorrow afternoon.

Braves Lineup Tonight

Author: Matt P

Hello, I’m Matt Pocza! I am a 3rd year finance student at the University of Florida and I love the Atlanta Braves. I’ve played baseball my entire life, and I am a submarine pitcher for the club team at Florida. I also enjoy scuba diving, football and business. Follow me on twitter @braves_rumors!

71 thoughts on “Making History: Most Homers in One Month”

  1. JC’d

    If you go back pre COVID, AA’s bullpen moves set this team up to go deep even if the starters didn’t get it done. Atlanta had room for a couple of bullpen injuries and still had a lot of depth.

    However, yes, the COVID altered landscape doesn’t let the bullpen do as much to make up for a weak middle of the rotation. 2, 3, and 4 are more important than in recent years.

  2. Hamels is done.
    I hope insurance covered some of the contract, since we will likely be payroll-impaired next season.
    I guess only having to pay 7 million due to covid instead of 18 is a positive thing?

  3. Cole Hamels is now out for the season including the postseason. So the rotation in October will consist solely of the youngsters. I suppose this means Boxcar is auditioning tonight for the 4th starter job if the Braves reach the second round, when they will need 4 starters.

  4. So far Ynoa has thrown 14 pitches, 12 of which are strikes. This is a great example of the difference between command and control. That’s great control, but the command is not what it needs to be. He’s thrown a couple that had too much of the plate and the Fish lead 1-0.

  5. The results arent there this first inning for ynoa.

    Whoever decides defensive placement for the braves should be fired…so many routine ground balls turned into hits. (All year).
    And Flowers sucks at defense.

    If Marte isnt allowed to steal, they get out of the inning 0-0 with an aguilar DP.

  6. So help me understand, the folks already trying to temper expectations for payroll next year – that the Braves will be limited and may need to cut payroll – are saying they can’t sign any free agents? But isn’t every team taking the same hit? So it’s not like the Braves can’t sign a guy for $20mil but more like nobody gonna sign for $20 mil and the top free agents will just make less?

  7. @8 I believe the braves dependance on real estate is going to hurt their income more than the average team, but its all speculative for now.

    @13 Tomlin warming up right now, I guess bryce wilson tomorrow.

  8. Just learned on the radio feed that tonight’s starter, Taylor Rogers, is the cousin of former Braves-killer Commando Cody Ross.

    I love our guys taking back-to-back walks to start the ballgame.

  9. My goodness, what a fine piece of hitting by Austin Riley. He went right with that pitch and came up with a fantastically timed double.

    He is just possibly demonstrating that he can hit.

  10. Ronald Acuna is just unreal. He has seen six pitches, two of them strikes, and so he’s 1-1 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI double.

  11. It’s nice to see Dansby in the 9th spot. That 9th spot seems to be magic in turning hitters around (well, except Ender). Especially having a guy with some speed really makes it seem like a second leadoff spot. And Dansby looked bad on one pitch but did a great job to poke that last pitch out to RF. Hope that gets him off the schneid.

    Acuna looking to be warming up again, too.

  12. Also, I really like the order of Duvall/Albies/Riley. That seems really synergistic.

    This is really a primo batting order right now – Acuna, Freeman, Ozuna, D’Arnaud, Duvall, Albies, Riley, Markakis/Flowers (the weakest link), Swanson. That really is great lineup construction.

  13. Well obviously my postseason rosterbation was premature. Hamels, sheesh, what a complete waste of a roster spot, to say nothing of $7 mil. So Ynoa as 4th starter? Yikes. I’d rather take our chances w Tomlin or a bullpen game. Ynoa has potential but is too unpredictable, like most young pitchers. Unless he pitches better on Saturday? I don’t see him making the postseason. This might increase the chances of the team carrying 13 pitchers and both Dayton and Webb making it.

  14. Yeesh, Darren O’Day and Tyler Matzek have both had quite a bit of trouble finding the strike zone.

  15. Enjoyed the HR record writeup, but Riley’s ball reminded me that colder weather might reduce the number of HRs.

    If MLB is going to devalue the regular season by letting lots of mediocre teams reach the postseason, I’d like to see it do something to return some value to having the league’s best record. Even though MLS’s large postseason playoff may be unique among medium-or-high-importance pro soccer leagues, it also has an trophy (the Supporters Shield) for the team with the best regular season record. Fans, the media, and the teams seem to value the trophy, and it’d be nice if MLB could create something similar.

  16. Freddie choking as soon as he was seriously mentioned for mvp. 3 hitless games, including his worst WPA performance in his career. Feels bad, man.
    I’m waiting to see what’s broken this year(eyesight? Wrist? Elbow?) Just in time for the playoffs. Too many pop ups and k’s for it to be normal.

  17. @37

    Except there’s a big argument as to whether or not it means squat. And I’m one of the people who think it means pretty much that.

    I mean, it probably does mean more than like the Presidents’ Trophy in the NHL, but that’s only because if you win it, you get a spot in the North American (and Central American and Caribbean) continental tournament. Outside of that IMO, everyone who isn’t trying to be a Eurosnob poser knows that MLS Cup (the standard championship at the end of the playoffs) is the real league championship and that the regular-season “championship” for a league with a completely unbalanced schedule doesn’t mean very much.

    If you institute it in baseball, you take away the continental tournament bid, obviously, and the sense that the championship should really go to the team with the best regular-season record, because that’s how they do it in Europe or whatever, and you’d be left with the NHL Presidents’ Trophy. A trophy that teams would actually prefer not to win and refuse to accept on the ice, because doing so is “bad luck.”

  18. @41 yeah, they started early this year…..now that dropped pop up by dansby might cost them the game. Greene regressing quite a bit.
    Lets see if the fresh prince is worth that contract…

  19. I just realized this is the same James Hoyt signed by the Braves in ’13 and sent to the Astros along with Evan Gattis in the ’15 trade that brought us Folty, Ruiz and Thurman. I didn’t know he was still in the majors. He’s having a pretty nice season. Good for him.

  20. Oh my goodness, thank goodness.

    Our team didn’t play very well, but we won anyway. I prefer it when we win a billion to one, but it’s nice to know we can win one of these.

  21. You should be surprised, because I screwed up my database request. It’s happened 20 times, though not since 1999.

  22. Bullpen went 6 innings, gave up 1 run, 4 hits (1 XBH), 3 walks, and struck out 7.

    That breaks down to:
    1.50 ERA
    10.5 K/9
    4.5 BB/9
    1.16 WHIP

    Reading this thread, one would’ve assumed a full on collapse of the bullpen. 😂

  23. Bad: Bryse Wilson starts tomorrow (not that there’s a much better choice, but I’m still not expecting much).

    Good: Fried and Anderson have been moved up and will pitch on regular rest Wednesday-Thursday so we don’t have to go TBD-TBD.

  24. I’m interested to see what Bryse can do. Looked a lot better his last few times out. If he can just command his offspeed to where he doesn’t have to throw his FB 75% of the time, he’d have much better results.

    Btw, interested doesn’t necessarily mean hopeful.

  25. You would think the more common play would be (in retrosheet event code) 13(B)5(1)/GDP, in which the third baseman makes the second putout, but that play has only happened 5 times, probably because if the third baseman stays home on the play the runner doesn’t try to take third.

    In addition, some of the 13(B)6(1)/GDP may not have been plays made at third, but at second by a runner who strayed too far. There is no code for the base you got thrown out at.

  26. @60
    5 walks, actually, that makes the line a bit scarier.
    Luckily, most of the walks and hits came with two outs already.

  27. “There is no code for the base you got thrown out at” would be a really great tagline for a sabermetrics-themed reboot of Aliens.

  28. @51. Yeah it’s pretty cool when a guy is discovered in an independent league, then is a ‘throw in minor league roster filler’ part of a trade, completely forgotten about, and then carves out a nice little major league career. He was discovered by a Braves scout pitching for Tabasco in the Mexican League in 2012, his 3rd team in 3 different independent leagues just that year. He got a cup of coffee in 2016 with the Astros and pitched out of the pen with Houston most of ’17 but was left off the postseason roster. Traded for a lottery ticket to Cleveland in July ’18, released by them at the end of the season.
    Then re-signed by the Indians to a minor league contract, and got a September callup last year. Then after the season got DFA’d by Cleveland and re-signed again by them. DFA’d again by them in July and traded for ‘cash considerations’ to the Marlins on Aug 1. He’ll be 34 next week and is pitching meaningful innings and pitching them well for a playoff bound team. He’s accumulated 1 WAR in his career, but 2/3rds of it in the last 6 weeks with the Marlins. Pitched in 21 games already w a 1.35 ERA and although he may be a little lucky he still has good peripherals. He appears to have found something. Guys like this are interesting to me. Studies in perseverance and a love of the game.

  29. @67: Actual chortle.

    @68: Nice history, BraveMarine. I also wonder about all the guys who could have performed well at the MLB level, if only for a season, were it not for either a failure to properly assess talent or a failure to persevere.

  30. JonathanF, I have to wonder since pitching for Tabasco in the Mexican League if his nickname is Hoyt Sauce.

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