When the New York Yankees placed outfielder Aaron Judge on the injured list on Friday because of a strained calf, the home-run chase wasn't on anyone's mind. Yet Judge remained in the lead until Saturday evening, when Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. each tied Judge at the top with their ninth homers.

For Trout, it was his eighth homer in 11 games since he returned from paternity leave. Overall, he's hitting .311/.360/.844 in those 50 plate appearances. Saturday night's home run was Trout's fourth first-inning blast in those 11 games. 

Remarkably, given how often Trout has given them an early lead, the Angels are just 4-7 in those games. They'll come into play on Sunday hoping to snap a three-game losing streak.

Tatis, meanwhile, has benefitted from playing in all 22 of the Padres' games. His 97 plate appearances are 29 more than Judge has received, and 19 more than Trout's total. Tatis has been particularly unkind to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Each of his last five home runs have been launched against them.

It's probably not a stretch to suggest Major League Baseball's ideal scenario would've seen Judge stay healthy and slug it out with Trout and Tatis over the rest of the summer. In those three, the league has its best player (Trout), its most marketable player in New York (Judge), and its next big thing (Tatis). Add in Mookie Betts, who is part of a four-way tie for second with eight homers, and the league would have the perfect combination of starpower and intrigue.

Alas, that won't happen -- at least not in such an idyllic format. That doesn't mean MLB won't have an exciting home-run chase over the next five weeks, however. 

Here's the complete leaderboard entering Sunday:

PlayerTeamHome Runs

T1. Aaron Judge



T1. Mike Trout



T1. Fernando Tatis Jr.



T2. Mookie Betts



T2. J.T. Realmuto



T2. Nick CastellanosReds8
T2. Matt OlsonA's8

Coming into Sunday, eight players had at least eight home runs, and 13 other players had at least six.