Jose Bautista Odds to Win 2014 MLB Home Run Crown with Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 3/7/2014
Toronto Blue Jays' slugger Jose Bautista has been one of Major League Baseball's most powerful hitters since his breakout year in 2010. Over the course of the last four seasons Bautista managed to hit 152 home runs, which trails only Miguel Cabrera's 156 home runs during that span, and he leads the next hitter on the list by 26 long balls. The shocking fact about those numbers is that Bautista missed significant time over the last two seasons with various injuries, and he could have produced even more eye-popping home run stats.
The 10-year veteran is expected to enter the season fully healthily and will be looking to put a stop to his declining numbers with a bounce-back year in 2014 when Toronto opens up its season on March 31 with a road series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Let's take a closer look at Bautista's home run futures odds with picks, predictions and analysis.
Jose Bautista 2014 MLB Home Run Crown Story Lines
Bautista's home run stats and overall production have declined for two straight seasons. The slugger won back-to-back home run crowns in 2010 and 2011 but has since battled a myriad of injures which caused him to miss 114 games over that span. Bautista had wrist surgery one year ago, dealt with back and ankle injuries, and ended last season prematurely with a hampering bone bruise in his hip.
Toronto's star player still has power, a solid skill set, and should, at minimum, be in contention for the award all season. Even in an off year like 2013, where Bautista missed 44 games, the slugger still managed to hit 28 home runs, which is a declining but still solid number for the former home run king. A two-year, injury-filled period is not enough to write off the once-spectacular hitter.
The Blue Jays are expected to be a bottom-of-the-barrel team that will probably not do much this season. Toronto is currently receiving the 16th-best World Series odds at +5000, the eighth-best American League pennant odds at +1800 and the worst AL East division odds at +1600. Bautista will be the heart of Toronto's lineup and may just spend the season swinging for the fences-he might have nothing else to play for.
Jose Bautista 2014 MLB Home Run Crown Betting Odds and Key Stats
Bautista is currently receiving +1200 home runs odds at Sportsbook.ag and is the leading the pack of the second-tier favorites behind Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera and Giancarlo Stanton. The right fielder had a tough 2013, playing in only 118 games and taking 452 at bats. Bautista hit 28 home runs, drove in 73 RBIs, and he produced a .259 batting average.
While his production was solid, the numbers were nowhere near his 2010 and 211 campaigns where the slugger hit 54 and 43 home runs in back-to-back seasons. In 2012 Bautista missed 68 games-nearly half the season-due to various injuries, and he managed only 27 home runs and 65 RBIs during 332 at bats.
Jose Bautista 2014 MLB Home Run Crown Picks and Predictions
At 33 years of age, there is no guarantee that Bautista will still be the same player he once was, even if the right fielder can stay healthily throughout the season. Declining skills are always a worry for 30-something-year-old players. The slugger, however, still hit 28 and 27 home runs during his past two, injury-plagued seasons and, if healthy, probably could reach the high-30s mark without much effort.
Bautista is such a powerful and skilled hitter that there is always value wagering on him to win the home run crown. The veteran will probably come into the season motivated to provide himself to the rest of the league and could very well win the award. Expect Bautista to bounce back with a 40-home run year and be in the mix for the 2014's home run crown.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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