The crack of a bat can be heard all over MLB spring training sites in both Florida and Arizona as teams get back to work in preparation for a new season of baseball. BetOnline has jumped into the mix with a full set of futures odds for all 30 teams as far as their chances to win their division, league pennant and the 2016 World Series.
For this week's top prop pick, I have focused my attention on BetOnline's betting odds for which MLB player will hit the most home runs in the 2016 regular season. There is a long list of solid prospects for one of the most popular preseason player props on the board, but I have narrowed down the field to come up with a pick that I feel has the best value in their odds.
MLB 2016 Regular Season Home Run Leader
The name at the top of this player prop list is Miami's Giancarlo Stanton at +700. Injury cut short his 2015 campaign, but it is easy to see why he is the favorite to win this season-long home run derby after hitting 27 dingers in just 72 games last year.
Over the course of his six-year career in the majors, he has hit a total of 181 home runs. Stanton matched his single-season career best total of 37 home runs in 2012 and 2014, and he was easily on pace to crush this total in 2015. While there is some solid value in his odds, there is no guarantee that he will be able to match that pace out of gate this season after missing more than half of last season's games. He will most likely end up near the top of the home run list by the end of the season, but I am not set on Stanton as my top-valued pick.
There is a trio of second-favorites at +1200 on the home run list made up of Baltimore's Chris Davis, Washington's Bryce Harper and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. This is definitely a very worthy group of long-ball hitters, with Davis in front after leading the majors in home runs last season with 47. Harper was tied for third on this list with 42, and Trout belted 41 home runs on 575 at-bats.
You would have to think that all three of these players should be able to reproduce this type of production this season, and they all have the added motivation of getting their respective teams back into the postseason after each missed the playoffs in 2015.
Davis is the veteran of the group heading into his ninth season in the majors, and through his first eight years he has belted a total of 203 home runs for an average of 25.4. His best effort came in 2013 when he went yard 53 times.
Trout is heading into his sixth MLB season with an average of 27.8 home runs a year, and 2015 was his highest single-season total. Harper has spent four seasons in the majors and his home run average stands at 24.3, but that is heavily weighted because of last year's total. Both of these players appear to only be getting better with age and more than capable of eclipsing the 50 home-run mark in 2016, but the pressure to perform at an even higher level has also been dialed up as the main face of their respective team.
As far as my top-valued pick for winning the 2016 home run crown, I went a bit deeper down the list to Colorado's Nolan Arenado at +2000. He is another one of MLB's young guns that is coming off a breakout season that included 42 home runs in 616 at-bats. At the tender age of 24 he has already proven himself to be durable, and I also like the fact that he plays for the highest-scoring team in the National League last year. The Rockies will need all the runs they can get after finishing last in the NL in pitching with a team ERA of 5.04.
Another plus was Arenado's power on the road with more than half of his home runs (22) coming in opposing team's ball parks. There is a definite risk/reward factor with this pick given some of the other names on this list, but I love his upside potential at some very favorable betting odds.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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