It’s no secret that baseballs are flying out of ballparks this year at a faster rate than ever — the league already set a record this season for the amount of dingers. We explored the connection between altered baseballs and the league-wide home run derby earlier this season. More recently, CBS Sports found that half of MLB teams are likely to set single-season franchise home run records in 2019, with many already having passed their mark, like the Yankees and Twins.

Individual marks are not being toppled at the same rate, but the MLB home run race is still a tight one with less than two weeks to go in the regular season. As of Wednesday afternoon (and Alonso’s second homer in as many days), here’s what the MLB leaderboard looks like:

1. Pete Alonso, Mets: 49 home runs
2. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 47 home runs
T3. Jorge Soler, Royals: 45 home runs
T3. Mike Trout, Angels: 45 home runs*
T5. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 44 home runs
T5. Christian Yelich, Brewers: 44 home runs*

*Trout and Yelich will miss the rest of the season due to injuries

The chase for the home run crown could possibly come down to Alonso and Suarez. Alonso, 24, is also in the running for the NL Rookie of the Year Award while Suarez, 28, is following up his breakout 2018 season with an impressive home run outburst. 

Suarez has been particularly hot at the plate as of late. More than half of his 47 homers (27) have come after the All-Star Game. The third baseman has been especially productive in September, slashing .380/.475/.920 with eight homers and 16 RBI in 50 at-bats. With Suarez’s 47th homer, he tied the record for most homers in a season by a Venezuelan player with Andres Galarraga (Rockies, 1996). He’s also in the running to tie another single-season record: most home runs hit by a NL third baseman. The top spots are currently held by Mike Schmidt (1980 with the Phillies) and Adrian Beltre (2004 with the Dodgers).

Alonso has knocked a total of seven home runs so far in September, as opposed to Suarez’s eight. Alonso, who won the Home Run Derby in a thrilling final against fellow standout rookie Vladimir Guerrero, hasn’t been shy when it comes to sharing his goal of going after records. He already broke the NL rookie record as well as Mets’ single-season home run record, and he may just catch Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s 2017 rookie record of 52.

Bellinger, an NL MVP candidate has fallen behind in the race over the last two weeks. Bellinger hasn’t gone yard since Sept. 2 and he has a .596 OPS and just one extra-base hit in 12 games since his last homer.

Soler, who played the most games in his six-year MLB career this season, has notched seven home runs so far in September with his most recent coming on Sept. 16. His 45 homers are also a career-high.

The finish to this race is bound to be an exciting one, monumental even. There have only been two seasons where more than two players reached the 50-homer mark: 2001 with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Luis Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez and in 1998 with Mark McGwire, Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr. and Greg Vaughn.


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