2013 HR Champion Odds
March 6, 2013
Who will be the 2013 Home Run King?
Odds for who will finish the MLB season with the most home runs are out at Carbon Sports and despite the crown going to an American League player the past three seasons, it's Miami' Giancarlo Stanton who's listed as the favorite in 2013. Stanton (+600) is higher than anybody else on the list but given he will likely be 70-80% of the Marlins offensive production this year, Stanton should knock plenty of balls out of the yard. But to be tops in the majors? I don't think so.
I say that because with Stanton being the only hitter in Miami's lineup that opposing teams will fear, he won't see very many hittable pitches. Teams will have no problem pitching around Stanton to get to the lesser-known hitters in Miami's lineup that doesn't have the slugging power to hurt them. As the favorite he is simply one player bettors shouldn't invest in.
Here are a few that I think have a great chance to walk away with the crown:
Albert Pujols +1000: Pujols has his first year in L.A. under his belt now and after getting notes on a majority of new pitchers for him in the AL, I expect him to come out bombing this year. The Angels ballpark isn't known to give up plenty of homers but Pujols still gets plenty of visits to hitter-friendly Arlington in Texas this year and gets to face some weak pitching in a very familiar park for him; Houston. Pujols slugged the ball for years against the Astros and now that Houston is in the AL West, he will have plenty of opportunities to slug it out there once again.
Pujols is coming off a year where he hit the fewest HR's of his career (30) but after getting the big contract, adjusting to his new surroundings and learning the AL game, plenty was working against him in 2012. This year that all that "new" stuff is behind him and although it was his second straight year of sub-40 home runs, that is nothing new for Albert as he's done that twice before in his career. And each time he had two straight seasons of 39 or fewer homers, he came back with strong performances the following year, knocking out 43 and 47, winning the home run title in 2009 with those 47 long balls. Oh, and don't forget he'll have slugger Josh Hamilton behind him in the batting order this year, meaning he's likely to see plenty of meatballs to slug over the walls.
Robinson Cano +4000: The short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium is always an advantage for left-handed Yankee players and Cano has shown that he likes that spot quite well in recent years. He is coming off a season where he hit a career-high in long balls (33) and will be asked to do a lot more this year given the injuries New York has and the bats they've lost over the winter. Now he'll need quite a few more homers than 33 to take down the crown as the past five champions have all hit 42 or more. But Cano is more than capable of hitting that mark as long as he stays healthy.
But what I like most about Cano's chances here (besides the +4000 price) is the fact that he is in a contract year. He and the Yankees have already started negotiating a contract and although Cano was "disgusted" with their first offer, he has to view this season as a chance to really up his worth and break the bank. Players who are in contract years (all sports) have always seemed to raise their level of play throughout the course of history because they know their future depends on it. It will be no different for Cano and he will be involved in the home run chase all season.
Obviously you can't forget about guys like Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera (+800 each) as the home run crown has gone to one of the two in the past three seasons. But Bautista's health is always a concern, and Cabrera has to have some regression after winning the Triple Crown last year.
At the current prices, I believe Pujols and Cano are the best betting options.
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