Cody Bellinger
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Video: Cody Bellinger clubs home run no. 42


It’s been a tight race at the top of the home run leaderboards lately, with the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, Brewers’ Christian Yelich, and Angels’ Mike Trout entering Sunday’s games tied at 41 apiece. At least temporarily, however, Bellinger got the edge during the first inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Braves, belting a 415-foot three-run shot out to center field for his 42nd of the year.

Well, it was slightly more complicated than that: After picking up an 85.1-m.p.h. slider from Atlanta left-hander Max Fried, Bellinger returned the ball to the center field fence, where it slid in and out of Ronald Acuña Jr.’s glove before dropping over the fence for a home run.

Any way you slice it, it’s been a banner year for the two-time All-Star, who has reached career-high marks with a .318/.416/.673 batting line, 69 extra-base hits, a 1.089 OPS, and 6.7 fWAR over 517 plate appearances. Per MLB Stats, he’s also the youngest player to reach 42 home runs in a season since Nolan Arenado (24) and Bryce Harper (22) did it in for the 2015 Rockies and Nationals, respectively.

Still, there’s no doubt he’ll have a difficult time retaining his first-place status in the near future, as both Yelich and Trout are having monster seasons of their own. With his 41st blast on Saturday, Yelich is the first player to rack up at least 40 homers and 20 stolen bases since 2012, while Trout leads all major-league players with a staggering 8.2 fWAR — marking his seventh season with 8.0+ fWAR to date.

Astros trade Jake Marisnick to the Mets

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The Mets and Astros have announced that they’ve completed a trade. The Mets will get outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Astros in exchange for outfielder Kenedy Corona and lefty Blake Taylor.

Marisnick, a seven-year big league veteran, has never hit all that much — his career line is .227/.280/.380 — but he’s a very strong defender at all three outfield positions and can run a good bit. That makes him a decent bench option at least. To the extent the Mets rely on him to be more than a bench guy they’ll get diminishing returns, but the Astros used him a good deal more than your standard 4-5th outfielder and that worked out fine. Really, having a no-hit, plus-defending center fielder is something that even contenders can deal with, even if you’d like some more offense.

Taylor is organizational depth. He turns 25 next season and has only pitched 50 innings above A-ball. Corona was an international signee last year so he’s not near contributing to a contender like Houston.