Dingers, blasts, moon shots, no-doubters, souvenirs, round-trippers, four-baggers; no matter what you call it, the home run will always be a favorite play of baseball fans everywhere. What could make a long bomb even better though? How about if it was directly leading to you making money.
Sportsbooks have released their odds for who will be the home run king this year, and as you can probably imagine, the field is wide-spread and loaded with the game’s best sluggers. But the odds-on favorite was certainly surprising: Giancarlo Stanton is favored over even the game’s two brightest young stars, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
It’s not that Stanton isn’t one of the best power bats around; he absolutely crushes some of the deepest balls in the game and has hit a home run in 7.7 percent of his at bats over the last four years. The problem is Stanton never gets enough ABs because he’s always injured: he’s missed 190 games over the last four seasons. Another factor stacked against him is the bevy of great pitching in the National League, which is part of the reason why an AL player has taken the crown each of the last six seasons.
So if you’re searching for value on the board, the American League is a good place to start, particularly the AL East. Home to four of the most long-ball friendly stadiums in baseball, a player from the East has worn the crown of home-run king in five of the last six years. From the loaded lineups of the Orioles and Blue Jays to the timeless bats of David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, it’s a division loaded with power and, after looking at the odds, value.
Jose Bautista broke the 40-homer barrier for the third time in his career last year, despite dealing with shoulder soreness for long stretches of the season. As is the case for most of the more seasoned sluggers on the list, you could argue that, as long as Bautista, stays healthy he has a good shot at taking the crown. But getting a recent champ like him or Nelson Cruz at 20/1 odds is a little more attractive than rolling the health card with Stanton at 8/1.
If you like even deeper dives than that, look at the likes of Manny Machado and Mark Teixeira, two guys at opposite ends of the career spectrum but both going off at 50/1. Machado is just 23, coming off a full 162-game season in which he clubbed 35 HRs. Teixeira’s age matches Machado’s 2015 HR total. The vet is entering a contract season with the Yankees, but is coming off a 31-homer campaign in just 111 games. Now with backup first baseman Greg Bird out for the season, Teixeira will make as many starts as his aging body will allow.
But why listen to me? Have a look at some of the favorites and make your own decisions. Good luck!
Odds to hit most Regular Season Home Runs in 2016:
(Photo Credit: Corn Farmer (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/].)
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