2023 MLB Home Run Leader Odds and Expert Betting Picks
We are officially on our way down the home run stretch of the 2023 MLB season. Shohei Ohtani of the California Angels is the current leader in jacks with 44, while the Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson is just one shy with 43.
Both of these guys are currently in their worst home run droughts of the year, though. I thought maybe the Polar Bear in New York, Pete Alonso, would be able to make a move at the league lead, but he hasn't gone deep in eight games.
All three guys have no more than 15 homers since July 1. We can't use who is hot or, conversely, who projects to get hot.
So, what's up with the low production from these guys? Are they being pitched around by opposing teams as we get closer to October?
Let's answer these questions as well as take a look at the betting odds and make a prediction for the 2023 MLB home run leader.
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Matt Olson: -210
Current Total: 43
Olson has been an absolute powerhouse for the Atlanta Braves since the team traded several top prospects for the first baseman before the start of the 2022 season.
He had one of the best years of his career in 2022 and has already surpassed most of his single season's best numbers in 2023.
With 32 games remaining for Atlanta, Olson has a chance at 50 home runs. He is healthy, hitting the ball hard, and has only been intentionally walked eight times this season in nearly 500 at-bats.
We mentioned his home run drought, but the guy has nine hits in his past four games. With the angle of his swing, Matt should begin to bang the long ball again very soon.
At (-210), though, and to not even have the league lead…
That seems like a risky investment. Let's continue to explore our options, and maybe circle back to the betting favorite.
Shohei Ohtani: +190
Current Total: 44
What else can we say about this baseball player?
As one of the best pitchers and possibly the #1 offensive threat in the league, Ohtani is the clear frontrunner for MVP of the American League.
Just recently, however, the Japanese superstar tore a ligament in his elbow and was immediately removed from his pitching duties for the remainder of the regular season.
That is why we are getting nearly 2 to 1 for the league leader to finish the season with the most long balls. On top of that, his team is, more or less, eliminated from playoff contention. They will probably rest him out of respect in hopes he re-signs with the struggling franchise.
Pete Alonso: +800
Current Total: 39
The 2023 MLB season has been a complete disaster for the New York Mets organization. I want to say Alonso has been a silver lining, but not really. It has come out that he was on the trading block before the deadline. Other squads didn't want him that bad, I suppose.
His 39 homers are the only silver lining for him, though, as he is only hitting a career-worst .221 on the season.
He is only four home runs shy of Olson, but I can't pull the trigger on someone who has struggled so much mentally this season.
Mookie Betts: +15000
Current Total: 35
Finally, somebody who is currently crushing the ball! Mookie Betts is now the betting favorite to win the National League MVP at (-140). I don't think he will be the favorite for long, though, as he will likely cool a bit from the incredible run he has been on.
He is hitting .417 over his last 30 games. The gap is just too wide for him to close at this point in the season.
Pick: Matt Olson: -210
A futures bet with an investment this heavy seems like a foolish play. It pretty much comes down to Olson and Ohtani, though.
One guy has a torn ligament in his elbow, and his team isn't going to make the postseason, while the other is on a team that desperately wants to stay in rhythm and maintain their grip on home-field advantage for the entirety of the playoffs.
I can't hate on the Ohtani bettors in this spot because the value is there. I just believe there is more value, as in hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, for Ohtani right now if that injury gets any worse.
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