MLB Betting Odds and Predictions: 2022 MLB Home Run Leaders
If you’re like me, you eat up every bit of non-lockout baseball-related news you can get (unless, of course, the news was that the lockout is ending–and that’ll never happen). So when sportsbooks dropped their Home Run Leader future bets just last week, I was excited to be able to think about baseball again–and hopefully, I can spark that excitement in you, as well.
Here I’ll lay out the favorites (odds given by DraftKings Sportsbook) to take home the Home Run crown, and who I personally think could hit the most dingers in the 2022 season.
So without further to do, let's get started.
Home Run Leader Favorites
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 1B TOR (+750)
If Shohei Ohtani’s parents never gave birth to the baseball god, I’d be writing about last season's MVP right now. Vladdy Jr. hit an MLB best 48 home runs last year (tying Salvador Perez), taking on a slash line of .311/.401/.601 for emphasis. One of the most impressive things about Vladdy’s season last year was his low strikeout rate. Of the top-13 home run hitters in 2021, Guerrero Jr. struck out the least amount of times (110). This is interesting to see, especially nowadays where power hitters seem to always come to the plate with a few holes in their bat.
If Vladdy can replicate his 2021 season in 2022, then there’s no doubt he’ll be a contender to be the home run leader. Honestly, once the MVP future odds come out he might not be a bad pick either.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS SDP (+900)
Wow, two juniors back to back that's kind of cool…anyway, Tatis at second may come as a surprise to few, but let me remind you: Tatis hit 42 home runs last year, which was good for fifth overall in the MLB. The impressive part? He did so with only 478 at-bats, which was 126 less than the league leader, Vladdy. So there’s no telling what a full-season of Tatis could look like, but that right there is the issue–can we ever really get a full season of Fernando Tatis Jr?
So I might be overexaggerating a bit, seeing as how Tatis really only missed 32 games last year. But for such a young player he does already have a lengthy injury history, and 32 games can end up being the difference between finishing in fifth place in home runs and finishing in first.
I’m just saying, I’d be wary in taking Tatis before we knew how he feels coming into the season.
Pete Alonso, 1B NYM (+1200)
The two-time MLB Home Run Derby champ will hope to repeat his 2019 season, where he led the MLB in home runs with 53–and honestly, I think he could do it. Alonso is really the heart of this Mets lineup, and the team relies heavily on him for production–and often times he answers. However, what we did see last year for the first time in his career, was a Pete Alonso slump. In the month of May last year, Pete Alonso only hit two home runs–and with only five in April, it’s fair to say he got off to a real slow start. If Alonso can avoid this kind of early-season slump in 2022, then I think he’s a real contender to lead the league in home runs, and even has the possibility to break the 50 mark once again.
Matt Olson, 1B OAK (+1300)
Last season was Olson’s first where he looked like the real complete package. In years prior there was always something off–his average was too low, he struck out too much, or he wasn’t scoring enough runs. Well, in 2021 he checked off all the boxes and looked like an MVP-Caliber first baseman. He hit 39 home runs while slashing .271/.371/.540, which are all career bests for a complete season.
While Olson may be new to the “complete-player” block, he’s been in the home run hitting club for quite some time–so we know the power is there. If he’s able to utilize it again, however, is what is yet to be seen.
Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge, OF NYY (+1300)
I’ll lump these two in the same category because why not. I’ll be honest, I don’t see it with Gallo. Since his move to the Yankees last year at the deadline, Gallo had 188 at-bats where he hit only 13 home runs with 22 RBIs. His batting average was abysmal, hitting just .160 while striking out 88 times. If Gallo can figure things out and use the very lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium to his advantage, then he has the potential to put up monstrous home run numbers. However, he has yet to prove any consistency in hitting the ball, which is actually a good quality to have when…well…playing baseball.
On to Aaron Judge. He has a lot of the same reservations as Fernando Tatis. Judge has an awful history of getting injured–but playing 148 games last year may be a sign he’s turned a new, uninjured leaf. Aaron Judge is one of those few players that really get you excited for every single at-bat–he has the power to turn every pitch into a 400-foot home run. However, it’s the injuries again that shy me away.
If he PROMISES he won't get hurt, then okay. Maybe I’ll entertain the possibility. But until then, I’ll be playing it a bit safer.
Other Notable Players For 2022 Home Run Leader
Shohei Ohtani, DH/SP LAA (+1400)
While it may not be the BEST bet, the Ohtani bet would be the most fun. If Ohtani is able to replicate his 2021 season in 2022, then we are bowing down to our new baseball good–but what are the odds he’s able to do that? That’s why I think his odds are so high here–but if you want to have a little fun at good value, then Ohtani is your guy.
Mike Trout OF, LAA (+1400)
Mike Trout hasn’t played a full season since 2016. Sure, that didn’t stop him from winning MVP in 2019, but when you’re counting home runs, that tends to be a bit of an issue.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF/DH NYY (+1600)
Stanton and I have a real love/hate relationship. When he’s good, he's phenomenal–but when he’s bad, he's BAD. He’s become too streaky to trust with this–which is something he would have been a lock for just five years ago.
Juan Soto, OF WAS (+1800)
I LOVE Juan Soto at +1800. He’s coming off of the best (full) season of his life, and is showing real breakthrough potential. He’ll be just 23 years old in 2022, and will be looking to prove he is one of the best players in the league.
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF ATL (+2500)
Last but not least, here’s Ronald Acuna. Before his injury last season, Acuna had 24 home runs through 82 games and look absolutely unstoppable. Well, that was until he was stopped by a torn ACL. It’ll be interesting to see how Acuna rebounds from this injury, but if he’s able to find his swing right away then he can for sure be great value at +2500.