Better pitching? Bigger strike zones? Fewer PEDs? I don't know what it is, but take a look at this:

Below are the projections for the top NL home-run hitters this season. Note that no one in the NL is on pace for more than 41 HRs, there are just 3 players on pace for 40 HRs, only 7 players on pace for 35 or more HRs and 11 players on pace for more than 28 HRs.

Taking into account that there are twice as many teams in the NL in 2011 than there were teams in the AL in 1960, this HR list reminds me a lot of the AL Home Runs list in 1960 , an era long before the PED era.

1.Braun: 41 HRs

2. Soriano: 41 HRs (40.5 rounded up)

3. Tulowitzki: 40 HRs (39.6 rounded up)

4. Bruce: 38 HRs

5. Berkman: 37 HRs

6, Stanton: 36 HRs

7. R. Howard: 35 HRs

8. Fielder: 34 HRs

9. Kemp: 34 HRs

10. C, Young: 32 HRs

11. J. Upton: 32 HRs

T. 12. Ludwick: 28 HRs

T. 12. Werth: 28 HRs

T. 12. A, McCutchen: 28 HRs

T. 12. Beltran: 28 HRs

16. G. Sanchez: 25 HRs

T. 17. I. Davis: 25 HRs (on the DL so will fall off the pace)

T, 17. Ryan Robers: 25 HRs

Here is that AL home run list from 1960

This was an era on which only three players, Mantle, Maris, and Mays hit 50 or more HRs, while the NL has 7 players projected for 35 or more HRs. I think it would be great to go back to an era like that, where 50 HRs were extremely special and very rare, 40 HRs meant you were a big-time slugger, 30 HRs meant you were among the best HR hitters and 20-29 HRs meant you had good HR power. Back then, the AL parks were on the whole, much bigger than today's parks, especially in left center, center and right center, but I guess there are a lot of other differences, too, many which help HRs today (e.,g., smaller strike zone, lower mounds) and some of which might hurt HRs (e.g., often facing fresh relievers from the 6th or 7th inning on and often facing a reliever who is throwing gas)

Note: The projected AL HR list in 2011 looks very different than the NL one for 2011.

Here is the top of the list:

1. Bautista: 63

2. Granderson: 58 (57.6 rounded up)

3. Teixeira: 43

but goes down very quickly, with only 3 AL players with a projection of 35 or more HRs. The 2011 AL list is a bit deeper than the 2011 NL List, though, with 20 players in 14 teams projected to have 25 or more HRs while the NL has 19 players in 16 teams projected to have 25 or more HRs. In 1960, the AL had 8 players in 8 teams with 25 or more HRs.

4. Beltre: 34

5. Konerko: 34

6. Asr. Cabrera: 33

T. 7. A. Rodriguez: 32

T. 7. Cano: 32

T. 7. A,Gonzalez: 32

T. 7. Ortiz: 32

11. Francoeur: 32

12, Quentn: 30

T. 13. R. Martin: 29

T, 13, Youkalis: 29

T. 15. M. Cabrera: 28

T. 15. Arencibia: 28

17. Zobrist: 28 (27.6 rounded up)

T. 18. Willingham: 25

T. 18. Peralta: 25

T. 18: Lind: 25