Before the start of the season, we published an article that looked at a number of season-long proposition bets that were available across the sports betting marketplace. This included over/unders for league leaders, potential World Series matchups, save leaders and more. However, perhaps the most popular prop bet among fans involves the long ball.
Sportsbook.com is renowned for being a “square” sportsbook, meaning that it takes low limits and attracts more casual bettors. As a general statement, square sportsbooks (including BetOnline, Bovada and Sports Interaction) tend to post a greater volume of prop bets. Although the juice is typically very heavy on these props, they tend to generate lots of interest among casual bettors and will frequently be referenced by mainstream media outlets.
Each season Sportsbook.com will post odds for a number of players to lead baseball in home runs, and they will update these odds sporadically throughout the season. For the 2015 campaign, Giancarlo Stanton (+600) and Jose Abreu (+800) opened as the favorites to smack the most dingers.
Although Nelson Cruz led baseball in home runs last season, oddsmakers projected that his move from Camden Yards (Baltimore) to the pitcher-friendly Safeco Park (Seattle) would limit his power production. Sportsbook.com listed Cruz at +4500 to lead baseball before the season but, with 19 home runs thus far, Cruz has jumped to +1800.
The table below compares the current and preseason MLB home run leader odds at Sportsbook.com along with the current home run total for each player.
|Player||Sportsbook.com (6/30)||Home Runs (6/30)||Sportsbook.com (2/21)||BetOnline (2/23)|
Although Giancarlo Stanton opened the season as the front runner and currently leads baseball in home runs, he currently trails Bryce Harper (+250) for the top spot. That’s because over the weekend, it was announced that Stanton would miss 4-6 weeks due to a hand injury.
Sources: #Marlins' Stanton has broken bone in hand. Exact details not yet known.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 27, 2015
Stanton had surgery on his hand today. 4-6 weeks recovery #Marlins
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) June 28, 2015
Though it’s interesting to view this list of potential home run champs, there were a number of powerful bats left off. Dodgers’ rookie OF Joc Pederson, who is tied for sixth with 20 home runs, is not listed as an option by Sportsbook.com. Other notable omissions include: Luis Valbuena (19 HR), Brian Dozier (16), Manny Machado (15), Steven Souza (13) and Stephen Vogt (13).
These oversights are particularly vexing when you consider that Reds C Devin Mesoraco, who has zero home runs and may miss the remainder of the season, is listed at +50,000. These are obviously long odds, but they are on par with star players like Yoenis Cespedes, Troy Tulowitzki and David Ortiz.
Based on the over the top juice on this prop it’s tough to recommend taking any players, but we want to know who you think will win the home run title. Do you think any players are offering value? Please leave any thoughts or comments in the section below.
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David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.