Read Josh Shepardson’s 2021 MLB Home Run Champion Futures Bets. Home Run Champ odds and lines for these HR MLB futures bets and 2021 home run sleeper picks come from PointsBet, current as of Wednesday, Feb. 24.
2021 MLB Home Run Champion Futures Bets
2021 Home Run Champ Odds & Favorites
- Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets (+1000)
- Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels (+1000)
- Joey Gallo, OF, Texas Rangers (+1200)
- Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals (+1200)
- Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves (+1200)
- Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (+1200)
- Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox (+1500)
- Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland Athletics (+2000)
- Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (+2000)
- Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (+2000)
- Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees (+2000)
- Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros (+2000)
- Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies (+2000)
Pete Alonso led MLB in homers during the last full season (2019), and he’s the co-favorite for the crown this year with all-world-stud Mike Trout. The star outfielder is annually among the game’s homer leaders, and he’s smacked the most (101 homers) since 2018, per FanGraphs.
Exit-velocity superstars Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton are also among the betting favorites for the homer title this year.
However, my favorite betting options are a couple of National League East outfielders.
Juan Soto is a wunderkind. The 22-year-old outfielder has an elite feel for the strike zone, and he hammers the ball. He ranked 3rd among qualified hitters in barrels per plate appearance percentage (11.7 Brls/PA%) and tied for third in flyball/line-drive exit velocity (99.5 mph) in 2020, according to Baseball Savant.
He mashed 13 taters in 196 plate appearances last year despite his launch angle dropping from 12.5 degrees to 4.6 degrees and sporting a 51.6 GB%. There isn’t necessarily any reason to adjust his approach, but I’m unwilling to put a launch angle adjustment that allows him to tap into his raw power more past him. Even returning to his 2019 launch angle could be enough to make a run at the homer title.
Former National Bryce Harper is already adept at hitting the ball in the air regularly with a 16-degree launch angle and a 36.1 GB% last season. Harper’s GB% hasn’t been above 40% since 2017.
He, too, hits ropes with a 10.7 Brls/PA% that tied for the sixth-highest mark among qualified hitters and a flyball/line-drive exit velocity of 96 mph that ranked 20th. Harper’s home ballpark is another reason he’s one of my favorite betting options, as Citizens Bank Park has the sixth-highest park factor for homers for left-handed batters (1.155), per FantasyPros.
I’ll place wagers on both Soto and Harper to lead MLB in homers, but a trio of forthcoming sluggers will also receive some of my betting action.
2021 Home Run Champ Sleeper Bets
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (+2500)
Eugenio Suarez‘s 14th-shortest odds feel like mispricing given his homer-hitting exploits. The third baseman’s 49 homers in 2019 were the second most to Alonso’s 53. Further, his 98 homers are only three behind Trout’s MLB-leading 101 since 2018.
He showed no ill effects from shoulder surgery last year, continuing to lift the ball, hit it hard, and ripping 15 homers in 231 plate appearances. Playing home games at Great American Ball Park is a cherry on top, leading MLB’s ballparks in park factor for homers for right-handed hitters at 1.271.
Luke Voit, 1B, New York Yankees (+3000)
Pandemic-shortened season be damned: Luke Voit’s homer title last year is impressive. His 22 homers in 234 plate appearances led the way and were three clear of AL MVP Jose Abreu’s 19 homers in 28 more plate appearances.
The right-handed-hitting first baseman ranked tied for 17th in Brls/PA% and tied for 21st in flyball/line-drive exit velocity. While hit batted-ball data is excellent, a surge in pulled-ball percentage from 47.9% in 2019 to 54.4% last year might best explain his homer outburst.
He’s a bargain with betting odds outside the top 15 hitters.
Josh’s Favorite 2021 MLB Home Run Champion Futures Bet
Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (+3000)
Are you willing to give Yelich a pass for a down year by his new lofty standards since winning the NL MVP with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018? I am.
Not all was bad for him last year, though. He ranked tied for ninth in flyball/line-drive exit velocity (97.1 mph). He also set a new high in Hard Hit% (55.6%). His batted-ball excellence helps fuel my belief in a rebound.
He ranked fourth in homers (92) since 2018 and finished sixth in homers (44) in 2019. His sixth-place finish in 2019 doesn’t tell the whole story, as he amassed his dingers in only 580 plate appearances and everyone ahead of him tallied 600 plate appearances or more.
Yelich’s per-plate-appearance homer pace would have resulted in 52.57 homers in 693 plate appearances, the number of trips to the dish Alonso needed to slug his MLB-high 53.
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