For the baseball fan, the winter is tough. The glow of the World Series has faded, and the excitement of the new season is still a long way off.
But baseball never really sleeps, and neither do the baseball betting markets. There’s a lot happening on the various MLB bookmaker sites as fans and bettors weigh up the prospects for the 2023 season. Should the Astros or the Dodgers be the favorites? Will this be the Yankees’ year?
Batting power is one of the most important factors when weighing up the strength of a team before you make your MLB picks, whatever market you are betting in, and a team’s ability to hit home runs can make the difference between success and failure.
The home run is also the most spectacular part of an MLB game. Last year, there were 5,213 home runs, the lowest number for a full season since 2015, making the home run even more valuable. But just how many home runs can be hit in one game? Here are the top five home run-hitting games in MLB history.
11¾Cubs v Phillies, May 17, 1979
Two games in MLB history have produced a total of eleven home runs, and the first of these came in the 1979 season, in the middle of May. The Phillies and the Cubs played at Wrigley Field in front of a little under 15,000 fans.
There was a strong wind that day, around 18 mph, but that only partly explains the rush of big hitting that the crowd was treated to in Chicago. Over four hours, the Phillies and the Cubs played out a thrilling 10-inning contest that ended with a 23-22 victory for the Phillies.
In total, the game featured 45 runs and 50 hits, along with 11 home runs, setting a new record for an MLB game. It also saw 11 pitchers take to the mound on a tough afternoon. Dave Kingman hit three homers for Chicago and Mike Schmidt contributed two for Philadelphia, including the game-winning run.
11¾Cubs v Diamondbacks, May 20, 2022
By last season, the 1979 record had been passed three times.However, in another high-scoring Wrigley Field contest at the end of May, the 2022 Cubs equaled their predecessors by taking part in another exhibition of slugging, in which 11 home runs were struck.
Patrick Wisdom recorded the first homer in the second innings, but from there, Arizona took over, scoring seven of the next eight runs in the game through homers.
Josh Rojas started things off with a solo at the top of the third inning, and he went on to smash a two-run homer in the fifth and another solo in the seventh. All three of his hits were recorded as traveling more than 400 feet. David Peralta also scored two, and Alek Thomas and Christian Walker grabbed one each.
The Cubs’ response came from Jonathan Villar, who was followed by Christopher Morel and Ildemaro Vargas, but as in 1979, the Cubs finished on the losing side, going down by 10-6.
12¾Tigers v White Sox, May 28, 1995
Sixteen years after the record of 11 home runs in a single game was set, it was the turn of Chicago’s other team, the White Sox, to be involved in setting a new high for homers when they took on Detroit at Tiger Stadium on May 28, 1995.
Remarkably, ten of the twelve home runs struck in this game were solo efforts, which also set a new record for MLB, and there was also an American League record of 21 extra-base hits.
Cecil Fielder, Kirk Gibson, and Chad Curtis all scored two home runs for Detroit, while there were also two for Ron Karkovice of the White Sox, helping to make another record in the AL for players with two or more homers in a single game.
In the fourth inning, Chicago recorded three consecutive homers from Ray Durham, Karkovice, and Craig Grebeck, the White Sox’s Frank Thomas tied the game at 10-10 with a homer in the sixth. Lou Whitaker also hit a homer for Detroit, but Chicago eventually won the game 14-12.
12¾White Sox v Tigers, July 2, 2002
Comiskey Park was the venue, seven years later, for an incredible record-equaling game featuring the same two teams that had set the record in 1995.
This time, Chicago was the host, but they won the game again, by a more convincing score of 17-9. At that point in the season, the White Sox were dominating the Tigers, winning seven of their previous nine fixtures, though, on this occasion, the homers were shared at six for each team.
Magglio Ordonez and Sandy Alomar scored two apiece, while Kenny Lofton and Jose Valentin also hit homers. For Detroit, Dmitri Young hit two and there were further contributions from George Lombard, Robert Fick, Damion Easley, and Wendell Magee.
13¾Phillies v Diamondbacks, June 11, 2019
Having been involved in one record-setting game, back in 1979, the Phillies got another piece of history in June 2019 when they contributed 5 home runs to a game total of 13, the all-time MLB high.
Citizens Bank is often regarded as a good home run venue and there was a 7 mph wind blowing out to center field, but no one expected the festival of slugging that took place.
The Diamondbacks smashed eight home runs on the way to a 13-8 victory and they started in dramatic fashion, as Jarrod Dyson, Ketel Marte, and David Peralta¾the first three batters in the game¾all hit home runs off the luckless Jerad Eickhoff.
Eickhoff gave up another two in the fourth inning, this time to Eduardo Escobar and Alex Avila. In doing so, he set a new MLB record, giving up five hits in a game, all of which were homers.
Escobar and Ildemaro Vargas finished the game with two homers apiece, while for the Phillies, all five of their home runs were solos, with two from the bat of Scott Kingery. This impressive exhibition of hitting did not, however, indicate World Series potential, as both teams missed out on the playoffs that year.