Home runs are way up in MLB and that is part of baseball's bigger problem

As we near the half-way point of the Major League Baseball season, the players are on pace to hit more than 6,000 home runs, which would break the record of 5,693 home runs hit during the 2000 season in the heart of the so-called “steroid era.”

But while fans and critics continue to lament the pace of the game, it turns out home runs are part of a bigger problem: there are more plays than ever where there is little or no action.

If we look at the three major events in baseball where the defence does nothing — home runs, strikeouts, and walks — so far this year, the average MLB game has 25.5 at bats in which the defence does nothing. That’s up 11% in the last three years alone and up 48% since 1980.

Home runs are nice. But in a sport often deemed “too slow,” decreasing the amount of actual action is a terrifying trend.

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