Wild Card Series: Most Home Runs (Career & Single Season)

Wild Card Series most home runs

Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Matt Musico

MLB’s efforts to expand the postseason had initially brought us one extra game: the Wild Card play-in. But with the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, that’s been expanded to a best-of-three Wild Card Series. Naturally, our minds wandered to the next most logical question: Who has hit the most home runs during this newly-created round of October?

We have the answers for you right here, whether the question is focused on a player’s career or a single postseason.

Don’t forget to also check out the rest of our postseason content. Some of it includes the following:

Wild Card Series: Most Home Runs (Career)

Since we’ve only had a couple of years of the Wild Card Series to this point, we’ve got a nine-way tie (!) at the top of the career home run leaderboard. Each of them has slugged two home runs. Here are those dudes and some background on each.

Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

It should surprise nobody that Paul Goldschmidt has been a solid postseason performer during his MLB career. He’s slashing .261/.333/.576 across 102 total plate appearances. Most of the damage he’s done has occurred in the Division Series (1.176 OPS in 54 plate appearances). He’s also maximized his opportunities in the Wild Card Round, though.

Goldschmidt has actually slugged three homers during this round, but one came in 2017 when the Diamondbacks played in the winner-take-all one-game playoff. Both of his other homers came in 2020, and his most recent appearance in that round wasn’t good. The only thing he did in eight plate appearances against the Phillies in 2022 was get hit by a pitch once.

Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

Manny Machado‘s six postseason homers are already the most in Padres franchise history. When including his other trips to October, the infielder has 10 career dingers during the playoffs in 178 plate appearances.

Across two NL Wild Card Series, Machado has collected just five hits in 28 plate appearances. The .659 OPS he’s produced isn’t worth writing home about, but three have gone for extra bases (one double, two homers) while accumulating four RBI.

Wil Myers, San Diego Padres

Wil Myers owns a .489 OPS across 77 postseason plate appearances. The only time his OPS has crested over .521 in a single series was in the 2020 NL Wild Card Series for the Padres. In helping San Diego advance, Myers slashed .333/.429/.833 with those two homers, four RBI, and two runs scored.

He racked up four total hits in 14 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter has collected four total hits since that series (42 plate appearances).

Trent Grisham, San Diego Padres

For a brief period of time, the light-hitting Trent Grisham turned into Babe Ruth against the Mets in San Diego’s 2022 NL Wild Card Series matchup. Across 524 trips to the plate in the regular season, Grisham slugged 17 homers while posting a .626 OPS.

In 12 plate appearances against New York that October, he slashed .500/.667/1.250 with two homers, three RBI, and five runs scored. He added two walks and two hit-by-pitches to his ledger, as well.

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr. wasn’t part of the Padres’ 2022 NLCS run, but he made an impact after an abbreviated 2020 campaign. Across 14 plate appearances against the St. Louis Cardinals, Nando hit .455/.571/1.091 with two homers, one double, five RBI, and five runs scored.

He followed that up by performing on the other end of the spectrum in the next round. Against the Dodgers in the NLDS, Tatis’ triple slash dropped to .182/.308/.273 with a double, no RBI, and no runs scored.

Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox

Yasmani Grandal and the White Sox lost to the Oakland Athletics in their 2020 AL Wild Card Series matchup. Chicago’s veteran backstop collected just two hits in 14 plate appearances. As you could guess, they were both homers, leading to a .200/.429/.800 line.

He’s hit six career postseason home runs in 128 plate appearances. Three of them have come for the White Sox between 2020 and 2021 (32 plate appearances).

Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays

Similar to Grandal, Teoscar Hernandez collected just two hits in Toronto’s Wild Card Series loss to the Seattle Mariners in 2022. Both his knocks were also homers, leading to a .250/.333/1.000 line in nine plate appearances.

This performance is in stark contrast to Hernandez’s 2020 postseason results. That also came with the Blue Jays, who failed to advance against the Tampa Bay Rays. The outfielder singled once across two games (eight plate appearances) during that matchup.

Danny Jansen, Toronto Blue Jays

While the sample size is incredibly short, Danny Jansen has shown he’s not afraid of the postseason stage as a member of the Blue Jays. In 13 total plate appearances (two series), Jansen is slashing .385/.385/.923 with three extra-base hits (one double, two homers).

Both homers came during the 2020 AL Wild Card Series. Prior to that performance, Jansen hit six homers with a .671 OPS in 43 regular-season games. That’s how you make the most of an opportunity, folks.

Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

Giancarlo Stanton‘s tenure with the Yankees has been a weird one. It’s included lots of injuries, but also plenty of homers, especially during the postseason. He’s gotten to play in October each season between 2018 and 2022 with the Bombers. Stanton has racked up 11 homers with 24 RBI in 110 plate appearances while slashing .260/.327/.635 in the process.

Including the one-game Wild Card playoffs, Stanton has technically hit four dingers during this part of the postseason. But since we’re only counting the Wild Card Series itself, he’s got two like everyone else for right now. Both came in 2020 against Cleveland. Those were the only hits he registered during that matchup in 10 plate appearances, leading to a .286/.400/1.143 triple slash.

Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins

The Twins entered their Wild Card Series against the Blue Jays with a huge monkey to get off their back. Minnesota hadn’t won a playoff game since 2004. They also hadn’t advanced in October since 2002. They accomplished both of those things by sweeping Toronto at Target Field.

Royce Lewis was a big part of that. He was the only player in a Wild Card Series to slug multiple home runs by hitting two. Across eight plate appearances, Lewis slashed .333/.500/1.533 with those two dingers, three RBI, and three runs scored. That sussed out to a 350 wRC+.

Wild Card Series: Most Home Runs (Single Season)

With only three seasons of the Wild Card Series being a thing during the MLB postseason (2020 and 2022-23), the single-season leaderboard looks the same as the career leaderboard. But that’ll only be for a short period of time.

Want to see some homers in person this season? Of course you do. Grab MLB tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And before you get to the stadium, make sure you’re decked out in the right gear. Get your favorite team’s official merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

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