Major League Baseball is infatuated with the home run, and oddsmakers have two prop bets that gamblers can wager on. The first is who will be the home run leader for the 2019 season. The other is over/under lines for how many dingers they will hit in the season.
This year’s pick for who will be the HR leader is not surprising. New York Yankee slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the 7/1 favorite. His teammate Aaron Judge is next at 10/1. Texas Ranger first baseman Joey Gallo and Boston’s J.D. Martinez are third at 18/1.
All four of those players were well behind 2018 leader Khris Davis of Oakland. The right-handed slugger had 48 home runs last year. Martinez finished second with 43. Davis is listed at 20/1.
The National League doesn’t have anyone on the list until Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper. He is listed at 25/1 behind Mike Trout and Davis.
Davis was limited to light workouts during most of Spring Training because of a quad injury. He did see action a two weeks ago, and in the A’s Opening day game against Seattle in Japan on Wednesday, he hit a home run for the third consecutive time in the first game of the season. The record is four straight, held by Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, and Yogi Berra.
Can Davis repeat as home run champ? It’s possible, but the last one to do it was Toronto’s Jose Batista in 2010-11.
A better bet on Davis might be his over/under line. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has it at 38.5, nearly 10 below the 48 he hit last season.
Yankee Sluggers Enticing
Oddsmakers are counting on Stanton and Judge to have big years after a drop off in production last season. Stanton saw his strikeout rate go up, and was inconsistent. He finished with 38 homers, well off his league-leading 59 the year before. Judge was even less productive, due to a broken wrist that sidelined him for seven weeks.
If the two can stay healthy, they should contend for the title. They have both proven they can hit the long ball, and should get plenty of looks considering they can’t be pitched around like when they weren’t teammates two years ago.
Judge had a torrid Spring Training, hitting six long balls. His over/under is 35.5, and it looks like a bargain. Stanton has the highest line, according to the Westgate. They have him at 40.5.
Trout Angling for Title
One player to consider for the home run title is Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout. The 27-year-old recently signed a 12-year, $4.26 million deal with the Angels.
“This is where I wanted to be all along,” Trout said in a team release. “I have enjoyed my time as an Angel and look forward to representing the organization, my teammates and our fans for years to come.”
Being the highest paid player in the game could motivate Trout to show fans the money was worth it. He had 39 home runs last year. His over/under line is 37.5.