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.
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: 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.