Throughout his first 12 years in the league, Pujols has never hit less than 30 home runs in one season, however, he posted a career-low 30 home runs last season, his first season with the Angels. Having already recorded 16 home runs in 92 games played this season and playing an average of 155 games per season throughout his career, Pujols is on pace for about 27 home runs this season.
Although that would set a new career low, nine more home runs would place Pujols in the 500 Home Run Club, a list that currently contains only 25 players in MLB history. All it takes is one hot streak in the second half of the season and he will be on his way to joining an elite list.
Including the 2013 season, Pujols has played in 1,101 first-half games – games prior to the All-Star Game – and has hit 276 home runs in that time period; that averages out to one home run every 3.99 games. On the other hand, he has played in 850 second-half regular season games – games after the All-Star Game – and has hit 215 home runs in that time frame; that averages out to one home run every 3.95 games.
Although there is not huge difference in those numbers, they slightly lean in his favor. And to emphasize my belief that Pujols will hit home run No. 500 before the end of the season, 2009 was the last season in which he hit fewer home runs in the second half of the season than he did in the first half – he hit 15 home runs in the first half of this season.
Ever since joining the Angels, Pujols has fallen out of the national spotlight, but he will join the 500 Home Run Club later this season, and everyone will notice and celebrate Pujols once again, if only for a little while.