MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Complaining about too many home runs? Tell that to the good teams

As outlined by my colleague Dayn Perry on Saturday — and by many others at various points throughout these last few seasons — home runs are exploding right now. It’s to the point that it’s getting more than simply side-eyed looks from those who watch the game. There’s consternation. There’s worry that this “is no longer baseball.” 

Part of this is probably fair. I’m not there yet, and I know it violates internet protocol to say something like this, but just because I don’t share the opinion doesn’t mean I think it’s silly or even unfounded. I get it. At some point, things become cheap. Batting .400 was cheapened in the pre-WWII days. How about complete games in the Dead Ball Era? Strikeouts are sure as hell cheap now. Home runs were cheap during the steroid era and they are pretty cheap now. 

At some point, I’m sure I’ll get there, but right now I still think home runs are the most exciting thing in the game. From the team level, there’s certainly no reason to look for anything other than home runs. They automatically put runs on the board. That’s great!

The teams who hit lots of home runs are generally good. 

Heading to Sunday, here are the teams in playoff position and where they rank in long balls. 

Yankees – 8th
Twins – 1st
Astros – 4th
Rays – 19th
Rangers – 15th
Braves – 10th
Cubs – 6th
Dodgers – 7th
Brewers – 3rd
Phillies – 20th

Of the top eight teams in baseball in home runs, only the Mariners (who can’t pitch) and the Diamondbacks are not in playoff position. Many of the teams you’ll see toward the top of the rankings hit loads of homers, while several of those toward the bottom are low-homer teams. 

Obviously a team has to be more well-rounded than the Mariners. You need pitching and defense. You need to be able to run the bases and, before that, having a good on-base percentage is good. Hitting lots of home runs is pretty damn good, too. 

Sure, we’re going to hear cries until the end of civilization about how you can’t try to hit home runs, and good lord do fans on Twitter love to complain about being “too reliant on the home run.” I’ve had All-Star players tell me before they try to homer every at-bat, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The best way to have a productive offense is to hit as many home runs as possible. Basketball figured it out with the 3-pointers and MLB teams have figured it out with the long ball. We can’t really do much to change that right now. Sit back and enjoy the show. 

Wanna be a good team? Don’t bunt. Drop bombs. The long ball beats small ball. We’ve been seeing it these past few years and it’s not changing any time soon, whether fans or certain folks like it or not. 

Previous rankings: Week 10Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Preseason | Offseason   





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