How important are home runs to the Orioles? Well, when they hit more homers than their opponent this year they are 45-6, and that is an .882 winning percentage. They are perfect, 14-0 in the second half, when out-homering the opposition.
That stat is pretty amazing and it was brought to my attention when I first saw it on a graphic during a MASN telecast over the weekend.
We already know the Orioles get a high percentage of their runs from the longball and are not a good team most nights at manufacturing runs. They need to hit homers.
But at least they are turning the homers into wins.
Here are other stats that show how the Orioles put the longball to use:
* The Orioles are 59-25 when they hit a homer.
* They lead the majors in multi-homer games with 46 and are 36-10 when they hit more than one homer.
The Orioles have three players with 20 or more homers and seven with 10 or more. Nelson Cruz has 31, Adam Jones 23 and Chris Davis 21. Manny Machado, Steve Pearce and Jonathan Schoop have 12 each, while Nick Markakis has 10. Colorado is the only team with eight players who have hit 10 or more. Caleb Joseph, who has eight, could give the O's an eighth player with 10 or more.c
The Orioles lead the major leagues with 154 homers, 13 more than Toronto and Colorado, the two next closest teams. Last year, the Orioles led the majors with 212 homers and that was 24 more than Seattle, which finished second at 188.
The Orioles have hit 200 or more homers in a season seven times in club history, doing so in 1985, 1987, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2012 and 2013.
They have never had three straight 200-homer seasons and right now are on a pace to finish with 204.
It is impressive that the Orioles are homering almost as often as last year's club when you consider that Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy combined for 78 homers for the 2013 Orioles and have just 27 now. Cruz has, of course, picked up some of that slack.
We've talked often here - and with good reason - about the Orioles' strong starting pitching and how big that has been for this team.
But the Orioles were second in the majors in homers in 2012 and have been first last year and this year. They are a free-swinging, longball-bashing group. And they have been able to turn homers into wins often this season.