Dodgers On Verge Of Setting Home Run Records

Both of the Dodger runs in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Cincinnati came on homers, solo shots from Zack Greinke (!) and Joc Pederson. Our friend KMT asked an interesting question in the comments:

8 People with double digits in Home Runs…Anyone know the record for an MLB team? We have an NL leading 146 for the year

He’s right. Adrian Gonzalez (24), Pederson (23), Yasmani Grandal (15), Justin Turner (14), Andre Ethier (12), Jimmy Rollins (11), Alex Guerrero (11), and Yasiel Puig (10) all have double-digit homers. Howie Kendrick (9) and Enrique Hernandez (6) are at least within shouting distance of getting there, too.

That’s eight Dodgers with double-digit homers, and at least some chance of getting to 10. (Sorry, it’s hard to see Scott Van Slyke getting there with only four right now.) So getting back to the question, is that potentially record-setting? Sort of. We have Baseball-Reference, so we can find out. Barring an insane finish from Van Slyke, they aren’t going to tie the 2004 Tigers for the MLB record of most players with 10+ homers:

Year Tm Lg #Matching
2004 Detroit Tigers AL 11
2013 Cleveland Indians AL 10
2012 New York Yankees AL 10
2009 Cleveland Indians AL 10
2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays AL 10
2004 Texas Rangers AL 10
2000 Baltimore Orioles AL 10
2000 Cincinnati Reds NL 10
1999 Cincinnati Reds NL 10
1999 Detroit Tigers AL 10
1998 Baltimore Orioles AL 10
1998 New York Yankees AL 10

But you’ll notice that the ’04 Tigers — Rondell White! Dmitri Young! The somehow still-active Omar Infante! — are the only team to top 10, and that means that the NL record held by the ’99-’00 Reds of Barry Larkin, Sean Casey, and Young again is in play.

What about just in Dodgers history?

Year #Matching
2004 9 Adrian Beltre / Milton Bradley / Alex Cora / Juan Encarnacion / Steve Finley / Shawn Green / Jose Hernandez / Paul Lo Duca / Jayson Werth
2015 8 Andre Ethier / Adrian Gonzalez / Yasmani Grandal / Alex Guerrero / Joc Pederson / Yasiel Puig / Jimmy Rollins / Justin Turner
1979 8 Dusty Baker / Ron Cey / Joe Ferguson / Steve Garvey / Davey Lopes / Reggie Smith / Gary Thomasson / Steve Yeager
1961 8 Tommy Davis / Willie Davis / Ron Fairly / Frank Howard / Wally Moon / Charlie Neal / John Roseboro / Duke Snider
1953 8 Wayne Belardi / Roy Campanella / Billy Cox / Carl Furillo / Gil Hodges / Pee Wee Reese / Jackie Robinson / Duke Snider

The 2015 Dodgers are already tied for second place all time, and need just a single Kendrick homer to tie for first. I’m not sure it’s likely they can top that 2004 club, but it’s certainly possible.

Overall, the Dodgers have 146 homers in 118 games, an average of 1.24 per game that puts them on pace for an even 200, which would be the most since 2004, but just sixth all-time for the franchise:

Most homers, Dodgers franchise

  1. 211 — 2000
  2. 208 — 1953
  3. 206 — 2001
  4. 203 — 2004
  5. 201 — 1955

Since three of those seasons came in the pinball era of the early 2000s, what that list ought to do is tell you just how great those legendary 1950s teams were.

Anyway, the Dodgers are 67-51, tied with the Cubs for the fourth-most wins in baseball. They’re doing that in part with home runs. I would like everyone to go back to the winter and get another round of good hearty laughs at the hand-wringing stories over the lack of “right-handed power” — note that just the righties, excluding Pederson & Gonzalez, have the sixth-best slugging percentage in baseball — and whether the Dodgers would have enough offense without Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp. Pretty sure the power has been just fine.

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.