As the 2021 MLB Season approaches, Los Angeles Angeles outfielder Mike Trout is projected to lead the league in home runs for the first time in his career.
This week, BetOnline released odds regarding this season’s home run race. They have listed Trout as being the favorite at +850. The 29-year-old has 309 home runs in 10 seasons.
Last season, New York Yankees 1B Luke Voit led the American League in home runs with 22, but his odds are at +3300. Meanwhile, 2020 National League home run leader Marcell Ozuna (18 HR) is at +3300 as well.
Who will lead the MLB in Home Runs?
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, February 24
- Mike Trout +850
- Pete Alonso +900
- Aaron Judge +1200
- Joey Gallo +1200
- Juan Soto +1200
- Ronald Acuna Jr. +1200
- Cody Bellinger +1400
- Eloy Jimenez +1600
- Fernando Tatis Jr. +1600
- Yordan Alvarez +1600
- Eugenio Suarez +1800
- Matt Olson +1800
- Bryce Harper +2000
- Giancarlo Stanton +2200
Will Trout Finally Lead the MLB in Home Runs?
As surprising as it may sound, Trout has never led the MLB in home runs, let alone the AL. The closest he came to the AL home run title was in 2019 when he finished in second with 45 to Jorge Soler (48). In 53 games in a shortened 2020 season, Trout hit 17 home runs. In a 162-game season, he would’ve been on pace for 52.
A large part as to why Trout hasn’t won a home run title is because he hasn’t played over 150 games since 2016. Despite injury troubles, Trout should at least compete in the home run race as he chases his fourth AL MVP Award in the process.
Alonso Trying to Prove Rookie Season Wasn’t a Fluke
In 2019, Pete Alonso’s rookie season with the New York Mets was remarkable. He led the MLB in home runs with 53. If that wasn’t a rookie fluke, Alonso could terrorize teams with home runs for years to come.
In 2020, Alonso managed to put up 16 home runs in 57 games, which had him on pace to hit 45 home runs had he played the same amount of games as he did the season before (161). On the other hand, this could’ve been a dreaded “sophomore slump” and if Alonso can bounciest back, he may quickly become the favorite.
Is Tatis Jr. the Real Deal?
A 14-year, $340 million contract may be too much for some players to live up to. However, Fernando Tatis Jr. may be one of the few who can deliver. In his first two seasons with the San Diego Padres, Tatis Jr. was on pace to hit over 40 home runs in a 162-game MLB season. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his rookie season and last year was shortened due to the pandemic.
Tatis Jr.’s potential has sportsbooks giving him good odds to compete in the home run race. In 2020, Tatis Jr. was second in the NL for home runs with 17, just one behind Ozuna.
Judge and Stanton Trying to Return to Glory Days
The last time that two players hit over 50 home runs in a season was back in 2017 when Giancarlo Stanton(59) and Aaron Judge (52). Back then, Stanton played for the Miami Marlins, but now both play for the Yankees.
Despite a +2200 line, Stanton’s injury history may hurt his chances. After playing 158 games in his first Yankees season, Stanton has only suited up for 41 MLB regular season games in the last two years.
Injuries have also limited Judge’s games as of late. Since the start of the 2018 season, Judge has missed 142 games. But when he’s played, he’s looked great. In 2020, Judge had nine home runs in 28 games, which was on pace for 52 in a normal season without injuries.