The Yanks 2006 record when not hitting a HR: 18-27
win % .400
Which makes their HR-game record: 79-38
win % .675
That's a 27.5% difference. That is big.
1-run record: 24-22
win % .520
Games won by one run with a Yankee HR: 16
which means a HR was the difference in 67% of those 24 1-run wins = pretty important.
Tampa Bay was 11th in MLB in HRs, which puts them in the top half. However, they were the worst team in baseball.
If we split all MLB teams into thirds by HRs (for 2006)...
Top 3rd. - Avg HR 209 - Win % .540 - Playoff teams 3
Mid 3rd. - Avg HR 177 - Win % .473 - PO teams 2
Bot 3rd. - Avg HR 154 - Win % .487 - PO teams 3
Interesting... The top 3rd does have the best teams, but the bottom 3rd is better than the middle 3rd.
In conclusion: HR are quite important, and most wins include a HR from the winning team, but I think they're more telling of good overall hitting/poor pitching, rather than being important solely for their run production. Conversely, when a team does not hit a HR (which is rare nowadays) they usually lose, but it's more because they couldn't get any offense going, rather than they're missing out on the run production of a HR(s). Does that make sense?
Dec 8, 2006