- Yankees teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are expected to lead the MLB home run race yet again in 2018
- Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will have plenty of motivation to have career years
- Rookie sensation Rhys Hoskins is being overvalued after coming out of nowhere in 2017
Fans at Yankee Stadium can look forward to going home with plenty of souvenirs this summer. BetOnline has released its odds for which players will hit the most home runs in 2018 and New York teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge occupy the top two spots. The larger than life sluggers led their respective leagues with a combined 111 dingers last season and could reach historic new highs in 2018 as they join forces in the Yankees’ lethal lineup.
The online sportsbook is also high on Bryce Harper, who hit 29 homers last year before being sidelined by a freak accident, and Manny Machado, who has surpassed 33 home runs in each of the last three seasons. Both players are in contract years and have millions of reasons to put up eye-popping stats.
We’ve included BetOnline’s odds below along with our own insights and analysis. We’ve also taken a look at their projected home run totals for individual players and have selected the five best values available.
Most Regular Season Home Runs
- Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees): 375
- Aaron Judge (Yankees): 650
- Bryce Harper (Nationals): 1400
- JD Martinez (Red Sox): 2000
- Manny Machado (Orioles): 2000
- Mike Trout (Angels): 2000
- Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 2000
- Joey Gallo (Rangers): 2000
- Freddie Freeman (Braves): 2500
- Kris Bryant (Cubs): 2500
It’s hard to argue with BetOnline’s logic of giving Stanton the top spot. The NL MVP crushed a career-high 59 jacks in 2017 and has hit 30 or more home runs four times since 2011. “Cruz” should benefit greatly from the dimensions of Yankee Stadium, which will feel like a bandbox after spending the last six seasons in cavernous Marlins Park.
Although Stanton will likely come out on top, also keep an eye on Mike Trout. The two-time AL MVP hit 33 home runs and led the American League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS despite missing a quarter of the season with assorted injuries. It was the first time in five years that the normally dependable Trout had missed more than five games, so his absence should be viewed as an anomaly rather than a trend.
And don’t sleep on Joey Gallo, a lifetime .201 hitter who shocked fans – and likely himself – by hitting 41 taters in 2017. The 6’5” slugger is built to hit bombs and has a chance to stay in the line-up every day thanks to his ability to play third base, first base, leftfield, and DH.
Best Individual Player Values
Aaron Judge: Over 34.5 Home Runs (-125)
This number feels curiously low for a 6’7” goliath who hit 52 home runs during the regular season and hammered three more against Houston in the ALCS. Sure, Judge endured a dry spell or two during his rookie season, but he made the necessary adjustments and should benefit from having considerably more protection in New York’s historically stacked line-up.
Bryce Harper: Over 32.5 Home Runs (-150)
No one will be more motivated to put up big numbers in 2018 than Bryce Harper, who could become baseball’s first $500 million man during free agency. The prickly outfielder had 29 home runs by August 12th last year and was well on his way to setting a new career high when he suffered a gruesome baserunning injury in a game against the Giants. He’s healthy again and has the power – and motivation – to hit close to 40 dingers.
Greg Bird: Under 25.5 Home Runs (-115)
No one doubts Greg Bird’s potential, but he has yet to prove he can consistently clear the fences. The 25-year-old first baseman has never hit more than 20 home runs at any level, and has hit just 20 home runs combined in his first two years in the Majors. He’ll get there eventually, but it may be a year or two before he’s among the game’s elite sluggers.
Kyle Schwarber: Over 30.5 (-115)
It’s a good thing Kyle Schwarber has his name on the back of his jersey, because the 25-year-old slugger looks nothing like the portly player who smacked 30 home runs for the Cubs a season ago. The lively leftfielder lost 30 lbs in the offseason and came into camp looking – and playing – like a new man. Schwarber has been displaying better bat speed, more control, and greater endurance and is hitting .378 with three home runs in 37 at bats. His new physique and approach to the game should allow him to set career highs across the board in 2018.
Rhys Hoskins: Under 32.5 Home Runs (-115)
Rhys Hoskins was one of the greatest stories in baseball in 2017 when he came out of nowhere to clobber 14 home runs in his first 30 games. He’ll likely hit many more long balls this season, but be careful to temper your expectations. Pitchers were already starting to figure out how to throw to Hoskins by the end of the summer and the 6’4” masher’s numbers dropped off considerably during his second month in the Big Leagues. He went from hitting .304 with 11 homers in 79 at bats in August to hitting .220 with seven homers in 91 at bats in September and October. It’s now up to Hoskins to prove that his rookie season wasn’t a fluke and that he can adapt even faster than pitchers are adapting to him.