By Brian Love & Michael Burns
At the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander griped that too many home runs had been hit so far this season. He accused the league of altering, or “juicing,” the balls, making it easier to hit home runs.
Among players and fans, Verlander’s “juicing” claim has gained momentum.
There’s no question that there’s been a home run surge. Home runs per plate appearance is currently sitting at 3.5%, an all-time high. At this rate, players will hit more than 6,600 homers by season’s end, shattering the prior record, set in 2017, by more than 500 home runs.