MLB Home Run Crown Betting Props Odds with Expert Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/5/2015
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's love of the juice has tainted the race for the home run crown a little bit, but there are still few things more exciting in sports than the long ball. As fun as seeing someone go deep is trying to figure out who is going to go deep more than anyone. Sportsbook.ag has odds on dozens of players to lead the league in home runs this year. There is always a chance a guy can come from nowhere to win it, but for now we are going to focus on the seven favorites:
Giancarlo Stanton (+650): If Stanton could stay completely healthy then he'd be pretty much a no-brainer here. He played only 145 games last year after he was hit by a pitch in an ugly incident that could have been much worse than it turned out. That total number of games, though, produced home runs better than three of the other four seasons he has played. He's only 25, so he's not physically breaking down. He's a huge guy, though, and that takes its toll. I'm not at all concerned about his mindset - even though he is flirting with wearing a big facemask - but I don't trust his body. I don't see any value here, though he is as likely as anyone to lead the charge.
Jose Abreu (+850): Thirty six home runs and 107 RBI is great for any guy. Those numbers for a rookie are just ridiculous. Of course, Abreu isn't your typical rookie. He was 26 when he defected from Cuba in October of 2013, and he had put up plenty of power numbers playing in Cuba before leaving. As good as he was last year, part of what helped Abreu was that no one knew anything about him, and no one expected him to be as good as he was. Now pitchers have had an offseason to study him and prepare for him. Can he take a step forward, or even maintain his strong play of last year? Or will we see him regress like so many players do after a strong start? If he can become more patient at the plate, which it is reasonable to assume he will, then it could be interesting. The lineup around him is also stronger, so pitchers will have to be more honest against him. I don't love this bet, but I wouldn't argue with you if you took it.
Edwin Encarnacion (+1200) and Jose Bautista (+1200): These guys have so much in common that we might as well combine them. Besides the identical prices, they are obviously teammates, and they project to have similar numbers in several categories. I really like the way both guys play, and I expect Toronto to have a stronger year than last year. The problem, though, is deciding which one to take. Every time I consider which one to take I come up with a different answer. I like both of them in this spot, though, so maybe the thing to do is to take them both. If you bet a unit on each you'd functionally be getting +600 on your bet. So, are Bautista and Encarnacion combined a slight favorite to beat Stanton? I like that bet.
Chris Davis (+1500): Davis had 53 home runs two years ago. Last year he had less than half of that - he wound up with 26. I don't think he is as bad as he was last year, but I think that 2013 was a major fluke, too. His team is not one I like this year, and Nelson Cruz isn't there to protect him. I don't have any faith that Davis can recapture his magic. I'll pass.
Miguel Cabrera (+1500): Cabrera is coming off ankle surgery. That concerns me. He has also made some big changes to his physical look and is more toned and defined. It terrifies me when any player makes big changes - especially a guy who is pretty big in the first place. He's an obvious talent, but there are too many warning signs to make him worth a look in my eyes.
Mike Trout (+1500): Trout is the reigning MVP, and he was runner-up the two years before. He had 36 home runs last year - just four off the lead. He has focused on laying off the high fastball that caused him to strike out too often. He's only 23. You certainly can't make the argument that he doesn't have a chance. At this price I like him. Quite a bit, in fact.
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