As the 2017 regular season draws to a close, we get a few more chances to see Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge try to make additional home run history. They've already written their names all over the record books, and they have six more days to add to them.Here are
As the 2017 regular season draws to a close, we get a few more chances to see Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge try to make additional home run history. They've already written their names all over the record books, and they have six more days to add to them.
Here are a few tips as to what specifically to watch for regarding the two sluggers, thanks to Statcast™.
Power on power
On Wednesday, the Rockies send Jon Gray to the mound in their series finale against Stanton and the Marlins. And while Gray is Colorado's best starter, his power will not faze Stanton. In fact, the slugger may look forward to it.
No one has done more damage against high-velocity pitching this year than Stanton. He's hit nine home runs against pitches of 95 mph or harder, tied for the most in the Major Leagues with Arizona's J.D. Martinez. Gray has done an admirable job of preventing home runs this year (nine in 104 1/3 innings), but he's allowed six homers on pitches at 95 mph or harder this year, tied for the 14th-highest total.
A change will do him good
When the Yankees play the Rays this week, Tampa Bay will start two pitchers who love to throw the changeup -- a pitch Judge loves to hit.
Judge has hit seven home runs on changeups this year, tied for the second-highest total in the Majors behind Kansas City's Mike Moustakas (11). But on a per-batted-ball basis, Judge is first. He hit those seven homers on just 34 changeups that he's put in play, a 20.6-percent rate that's best in the Majors -- teammate Gary Sanchez is second at 20 percent (minimum 25 opportunities).
Judge also has the highest wOBA (a measure of overall batting effectiveness) and xwOBA (a measure of expected wOBA based on quality of contact) against changeups of any big league hitter.
Rays Tuesday starter Blake Snell (20.8 percent) and Wednesday starter Matt Andriese (29.3 percent) are two of just 33 big league pitchers who have thrown at least 1,000 pitches this year with at least 20 percent changeups. They'd better make them good.
Home sweet home
You probably know that Judge has done historic damage at Yankee Stadium this year. His two home runs Monday were his 30th and 31st in the Bronx, giving him more homers at home than even Stanton.
But lest you think it's just something about the dimensions, Judge has pummeled the ball at home. He's far and away the Major League leader in average exit velocity at home at 95.9 mph -- 2.3 mph higher than his road average, which also leads the big leagues.
Judge also leads the Majors with 42 barrels at home (41 on the road) and percentage of batted balls at home that have been barrels (12.92).
What stands out about Judge's home-road splits, actually, is his relative poor luck on the road. He's also hit the ball harder than anybody on the road; he just doesn't have the same results to show for it.
To the left
Stanton is likely to see at least two left-handed starters this week: Colorado's Tyler Anderson and Atlanta's Luiz Gohara. He'll likely relish those opportunities.
While Judge has actually done less damage against lefties, Stanton has throttled them more severely than right-handers. His overall splits show this, with a .310/.448/.750 slash line when he has the platoon advantage, and the quality of contact does as well.
Stanton has barreled 19.15 percent of his balls in play against lefties, fourth highest in the Majors. He has a .491 wOBA against lefties, fifth in the Majors, and a .468 xwOBA that's third. A slugger like Stanton should be extra dangerous against opposite-side pitchers, and he is.
Matthew Leach is an executive editor for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter and read his columns.