Cody Bellinger isn’t just off to a hot start this season — he’s off to one of the hottest starts we’ve seen from any player in MLB history. On Friday night, the Dodgers’ slugger approached his eighth game of 2019 with a league-leading five home runs and 13 RBI. By the time the club wrapped their 10-6 win over the Rockies, Bellinger had six home runs and 16 RBI. According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, that’s the most any player has collected in the first eight games of a season since Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Mathews went on similar tears for the 2007 Yankees and 1953 Braves, respectively.
Bellinger went yard in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, pinpointing a 90-m.p.h. fastball from Tyler Anderson and launching it back out to the right field bullpen for a three-run homer to put the Dodgers up 6-1. He’s building on an impressive follow-up to last year’s campaign, during which he slashed .260/.343/.470 with 25 homers, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR through 632 plate appearances and a full 162 games.
The 23-year-old outfielder isn’t the only one who’s been mashing home runs for the Dodgers these days, either. Max Muncy engineered a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Russell Martin waited until the sixth to take Carlos Estévez deep for his first homer of the 2019 season. Collectively, the Dodgers rank first in the National League with 21 home runs through their first eight games, tied with the Mariners for most in MLB.