Home Runs Are Back and 8 Other May Takeaways From the 2022 Mlb Season and An Early Look at the 2022 Season!

In Major League Baseball, what have we learned this month?

To begin with, home runs are back in style, thanks in large part to Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and the rest of the Boston Red Sox lineup.

The Houston Astros pitching staff has been nearly unhittable despite an increase in long balls from Josh Hader, despite the team’s overall success. The Toronto Blue Jays’ offense, which was anticipated to be among the best in the league, remained lackluster for the second month in a row.

The Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies have both slowed down after strong Aprils, but the Minnesota Twins remain in command of the American League Central.

What about the American League and National League MVPs from last year? In terms of repeat performances, they’re in good shape.

Our findings from May are still fresh in our minds, but here are some of our favorites.

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After April Power Outage, Home Runs Are Happening Again

There is still a long way to go before football balls can fly as far as they did in the past three seasons. After an April filled with ideas about humidors and the makeup of baseballs, home runs have become more common in May, which is good news.

In 2019, pitchers allowed 1.4 home runs per nine innings, and in 2020 and 2021 they were expected to allow 1.3 home runs per nine innings. We were on track to hit 4,400 home runs, down from 5,944 in the previous season.

Despite this, the league average of 1.1 HR/9 has increased by 17.5 percent in May.

It’s up to the observer to decide whether or not that’s a good or negative trend. Pitching battles are exciting. Slugfests are the same. More players than simply Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, and Trevor Story have seen an increase in their number of home runs this season. As the weather warms up, they should also continue to rise.

Home Runs Are Back, but Runs Are Still Down for Toronto

It was a year ago that Toronto boasted one of the most potent attacks in Major League Baseball. There were 21 more home runs by the Blue Jays than the next closest team, and they led the league in slugging % and were among the top four hitters in terms of average, on-base percentage, and runs.

But this season, especially in May, they can’t seem to get a hit.

Most clubs have scored at least 100 runs so far this month. Only a few people are above the 120 mark. To put it another way: all teams except the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers have fewer than the Blue Jays, with just 79.

Despite having some of the greatest pitchings in the majors, they are only 11-12 as a result of this.

Bo Bichette’s batting average is good.

With four home runs, the hitter hit a total of 280. Both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer have performed well. There’s little doubt that Matt Chapman, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and Raimel Tapia have been terrible, each batting below.175 in 66 plate appearances.

Incredibly, the Toronto Blue Jays are still in a good place to make the playoffs. But if these bats don’t wake up soon, they’ll need to do some serious shopping before the trade deadline.

The Red Sox Are on the Prowl

Boston is still three games behind the. Only 500 because of the team’s lackluster pitching staff. In a 12-8 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, the New York Yankees blew an 8-2 lead.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, have rediscovered their mojo at the plate.

They were batting.225 with 12 home runs and an OPS of.609 in their first 22 games. With runners in scoring position, it seemed like only Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers could get on base.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, hit.286 with 31 home runs and an OPS of.833 through their first 23 games of May. J.D. Martinez’s.440 batting average in May, Trevor Story’s nine home runs, and all of Devers’ extra-base hit finally resulted in some RBIs in May. (16 RBI on 19 XBH in May after nine on 10 in April).

After a terrible start, Boston appears to be a contender.

The Red Sox may not be able to catch the Yankees in the American League East, but they are only four games away from the third wild card spot, and Chris Sale and James Paxton are expected to join the rotation this season.

Josh Hader Deserves the NL Cy Young Award

For the most part, closers don’t win Cy Young Awards. In 29 years, only one firefighter has taken home the trophy for his efforts—and that was Eric Gagne, who went 55-for-55 on save attempts and won the award for his heroics in 2003.

Milwaukee’s Josh Hader, on the other hand, has been flawless.

Only three hits and six walks have been issued in Hader’s 14.2 innings pitched, and he has struck out 22 batters. Moreover, his sole function is to save games, which he has done in 16 outings.

There were 10, but now that he’s halfway through May and still hasn’t given up an earned run, we’re starting to think about how close Zack Britton came to winning the American League Cy Young Award last year with his 0.54 ERA over 67.1 innings.

Earlier this month, the Cardinals pounded Carlos Rodon to the ground. Due to a strained left oblique, Max Scherzer will be out indefinitely. To win the Cy Young Award again, Hader will have to beat out his colleague Corbin Burnes, who has been dominant in his bid for the award.

However, Hader’s chances of winning the Cy Young Award should rise with each week that passes without allowing a run or blowing a saves.

Most Home Runs in a Season
Most Home Runs in a Season

Houston’s Pitching Has Been Ridiculous

It’s a safe bet that a team’s Cy Young Award contender will be the ace of the staff who makes 25 starts, wins 18, and has a 2.29 ERA or better.

As a result, the Houston Astros have a team ERA of just 2.29, which is quite the feat.

Despite this, the Astros had one of their worst performances, surrendering 13 runs to the Nationals in a loss. If you exclude that one game, their ERA drops to 1.83, which means they’ve allowed 43 earned runs in 212 innings.

Mercy.

When it comes to 39-year-old Justin Verlander, we keep expecting him to go back to the mean, but he never does. He went 4-0 with a 0.70 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 25.2 innings in his first four May starts. (In a loss to the Seattle Mariners on Friday, he finally had a horrible outing, allowing six runs in six innings.)

However, Jake Odorizzi’s 0.54 ERA in three starts before he was sidelined with a left leg strain wasn’t even Houston’s lowest ERA. And the trio of Rafael Montero, Ryne Stanek, and Seth Martinez relievers combined for 25.1 innings of scoreless relief. (In May, the bullpen is 3-1.) The only Astros pitcher with an ERA above 3.60 this month is Blake Taylor, who gave up four of his six earned runs in that game against the Nationals.

The Astros’ stingy pitching has allowed them to leapfrog the Los Angeles Angels and go into first place in the American League West, but it won’t last forever.

Repeat MVPs in Both Leagues Are On the Table

In the National League, 2021 MVP Bryce Harper is destroying baseballs despite a UCL ailment that has kept him restricted to designated hitter duties since mid-April. Let’s start with Harper.

Harper had a.253 hitting average and just three home runs in April, but he has since picked up the pace. His.375 average and.763 slugging percentage lead all other players not named Paul Goldschmidt in May when the Mets and Dodgers were his opponents.

When it comes to back-to-back victories in the American League, only one pitcher is capable of accomplishing such a feat.

The Angels have given Shohei Ohtani six or seven days of rest between starts, and he has performed well against the Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers. ” Even though he had a poor night against the Blue Jays on Thursday, he still managed to record 25 innings, 20 hits, 8 runs, 8 errors, 5 walks, and 33 strikeouts for the month. (Along with five home runs and three stolen bases, he had a stellar season.)

There have been numerous instances in MLB history where a player has won MVP Awards in consecutive years. Heck, Barry Bonds managed to do it for four consecutive years from 2001 to 2004. There have never been back-to-back MVPs in the same season in both leagues.

It’s possible after both of last year’s winners had a great month in May.

The NL race has been won by Manny Machado, but Bryce Harper is right there in the thick of things as the pack vying for second place. Ohtani is still the favorite to win the AL MVP award despite Aaron Judge’s avalanche of home runs.

All Rise for Your Home Run King

Aaron Judge was batting.171 after 13 games of the season. The 7-6 Yankees have a batting average of 255 with a home run and two RBI.

There have been 16 home runs in his last 16 games, including four multi-home run games, and the Yankees are 26-7 since then.

Coincidence? I don’t believe so.

A judge has a.665 slugging percentage, which is ludicrous even by Judge’s standards and is four home runs ahead of his nearest competitor (Mookie Betts). In 2020, he hit.554 for his highest slugging percentage in the previous four years. The difference between his slugging % then and today is 38 points, and that was even when he led the league in home runs as a rookie in 2017.

Judge, on the other hand, is no stranger to a fast start. Each of the other four months in his career has had an average OPS below.950, except May, when his OPS was 1.024, March/April when it was 1.011, and May when it was 1.011.

Hopefully, he can maintain this momentum into the summer. He may be still warming up because he has been nearly as deadly away from Yankee Stadium as he has been there (with a greater home run rate in away games).

The Marlins and Rockies Were Fool’s Gold

There were 12-9 Rockies and 12-8 Marlins at dawn on May 1. The Cardinals, Dodgers, and San Diego Padres were all within two games of their respective division leaders in the National League’s wild-card race.

Although they’ve gone 14-32 since then, they’d have to leapfrog a lot of teams to come back into wild-card contention.

It’s expected, given the Rockies’ recent record. Even during their hot start, they had a run differential of minus-15, despite their lack of star power and Kris Bryant’s second stint on the injured list. It was just a matter of time before Daniel Bard, Ashton Goudeau, and the rest of the relievers sank back to earth after an overachieved bullpen.

It doesn’t make logic, however, that the Marlins have the poorest month-to-date record in Major League Baseball.

However, despite their equal run differential, the Fish have a record of 11 games below.500 despite having scored and given up 96 runs. At least seven of their 17 defeats have come by one run, including an 8-0 a win-loss streak that stretched from May 2 to May 9. They went from 12-9 to 13-16 throughout that period.

If Miami’s luck improves, they may still be able to make the playoffs. It’s worth noticing that the Marlins’ 18-25 record and Rays’ 26-19 record have the identical run differential (plus-10): Miami and Colorado are at best afterthoughts at this point.

But the Twins Look Like the Real Deal

The White Sox have won 15 of their last 25 games after a 7-12 start. However, the Twins have won 17 of their last 26 games in the American League Central over that period.

In a three-game home series versus Houston, Minnesota was outscored 21-3. This may be a preview of things to come in October for the Red Wings. After all, the team’s postseason record reads 18 losses in a row.

Despite that, don’t let the Twins’ poor finish in a terrible division last year conceal the fact that they have one of the best records in the league and a path to the playoffs that is getting easier and easier by the day.

The fact that they’ve been successful despite Byron Buxton’s sputtering batting average of.155 is maybe the most impressive part of their continuing success. As a result, Devin Smeltzer, Jhoan Duran, and Caleb Thielbar have consistently put zeroes on the scoreboard, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, and then finally-delivering-on-his-$35.1-million-salary Carlos Correa has taken the lead at the plate.

There is a good probability that unless you are a die-hard Twins fan, you’ve never heard of any of these pitchers. While they may be the next bandwagon team, it’s worth getting to know them.

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