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Solo Home Run Percentage & the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals

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The St. Louis Cardinals' hot hitting with runners on base extended to homers last year.

Elsa

Six years ago, I attended a Saturday game at Busch Stadium that pitted the St. Louis Cardinals against the Tampa Bay Rays. The game went into extra innings. Ryan Ludwick broke the deadlock with a walk-off solo home run that sent el Birdos home the victors.

Leaving Busch Stadium that day, I thought to myself, "The Cardinals sure do seem to hit a lot of solo homers." When I got home after the weekend trip to St. Louis, I decided to look into the Cardinals' solo homer rate. The only problem was, no website had solo home run rates. So I had to calculate it myself, which led to a Fanpost here at VEB.

The share of MLB home runs that are solo shots tends to range between 55% and 60%. Here is the MLB-wide Solo HR% for the last nine seasons.

MLB SOLO HR% (2005-2013)

Year

Total HR

Solo HR

Solo HR %

2005

5,017

2,842

56.65%

2006

5,386

3,089

57.35%

2007

4,957

2,812

56.73%

2008

4,878

2,754

56.46%

2009

5,042

2,951

58.53%

2010

4,613

2,648

57.40%

2011

4,552

2,668

58.61%

2012

4,934

2,822

57.19%

2013

4,661

2,811

60.31%

Six years later, no website has Solo HR% as far as I know. I'm still calculating it myself. The following chart contains the Solo HR% rates for MLB clubs in 2013, from highest to lowest.

2013 MLB SOLO HR% BY TEAM

2013

HR

Solo HR

Solo HR %

Reds

155

104

67.10%

Pirates

161

108

67.08%

Brewers

157

104

66.24%

Phillies

140

92

65.71%

White Sox

148

97

65.54%

Rays

165

108

65.45%

Marlins

95

61

64.21%

Rangers

176

113

64.20%

Angels

164

105

64.02%

Mariners

188

119

63.30%

Yankees

144

91

63.19%

Royals

112

70

62.50%

Padres

146

91

62.33%

Mets

130

81

62.31%

Rockies

159

99

62.26%

Nationals

161

100

62.11%

Twins

151

93

61.59%

MLB

4661

2811

60.31%

Dodgers

138

83

60.14%

Blue Jays

185

110

59.46%

Orioles

212

125

58.96%

Giants

107

63

58.88%

Cubs

172

99

57.56%

Astros

148

84

56.76%

A's

186

104

55.91%

Braves

181

100

55.25%

Indians

171

93

54.39%

Red Sox

178

95

53.37%

Cardinals

125

65

52.00%

Tigers

176

89

50.57%

Diamondbacks

130

65

50.00%

As the chart shows, the Cardinals' hot hitting with runners on extended to power-hitting. The Redbirds had one of the lowest solo homer rates in all of baseball. This means that St. Louis had an above-average share of their homers occur with men on base. This allowed the Cards scored more runs per home run on average than MLB as a whole.

The following chart shows the same categories as the previous charts, but also includes the number of RBI by HR and runs scored per homer (R/HR) for 2013.

Club

HR

Solo HR

Solo HR %

RBI by HR

R/HR

Red Sox

178

95

53.37%

305

1.71

Tigers

176

89

50.57%

301

1.71

Diamondbacks

130

65

50.00%

219

1.68

Cardinals

125

65

52.00%

204

1.63

Indians

171

93

54.39%

279

1.63

Astros

148

84

56.76%

240

1.62

Braves

181

100

55.25%

292

1.61

A's

186

104

55.91%

291

1.56

Orioles

212

125

58.96%

331

1.56

Cubs

172

99

57.56%

267

1.55

MLB

4661

2811

60.31%

3534

1.55

Royals

112

70

62.50%

172

1.54

Blue Jays

185

110

59.46%

283

1.53

Giants

107

63

58.88%

164

1.53

Mariners

188

119

63.30%

287

1.53

Mets

130

81

62.31%

199

1.53

Nationals

161

100

62.11%

246

1.53

Yankees

144

91

63.19%

221

1.53

Dodgers

138

83

60.14%

207

1.5

Padres

146

91

62.33%

219

1.5

Twins

151

93

61.59%

227

1.5

Marlins

95

61

64.21%

142

1.49

Rangers

176

113

64.20%

259

1.47

Rockies

159

99

62.26%

234

1.47

White Sox

148

97

65.54%

217

1.47

Phillies

140

92

65.71%

204

1.46

Brewers

157

104

66.24%

228

1.45

Reds

155

104

67.10%

225

1.45

Pirates

161

108

67.08%

229

1.42

Rays

165

108

65.45%

235

1.42

Angels

164

105

64.02%

232

1.41

The Cardinals didn't score very many runs last season via the homer. They ranked 27th in MLB in homers in 2013. But because such a large share of their homers were of the multi-run variety, the Redbirds averaged one of the highest runs scored per homer (R/HR) in the majors a year ago.