Throughout the off-season we’ve brought you MLB Futures, Win Totals and Divisional Odds and now we have player specific betting opportunities: League Leader prop bets were released at Bovada, BetOnline and Sportsbook.com.
It’s known that chicks that dig the long ball and, not surprisingly, one of the most popular prop bets asks which player will lead the league in home runs. Last season Nelson Cruz led the American League in home runs with 40 while Giancarlo Stanton led all National League hitters with 37.
This season, the 25-year old Stanton is the favorite (+600) to lead all of baseball in home runs and most projection models agree. Steamer projections, which are utilized over at FanGraphs, have predicted a league-leading 41 home runs for Stanton.
The table below compares the current odds at BetOnline and Sportsbook.com for a number of players to win the home run crown this season.
|Player||BetOnline (2/23)||Sportsbook.com (2/21)|
BetOnline is also offering a number of prop betting opportunities regarding the league leader for several additional key statistical categories. We were curious not only how these odds compared to last season’s league leaders, but also how they stacked up with the Steamer projections.
League Leader in Hits: O/U 213.5
Last season only one player exceeded 200 hits, with Houston’s Jose Altuve recording 225 base knocks. Steamer projections have the diminutive Altuve leading the league in hits, however, their total of 185 would fall far short of this 213.5 threshold indicating that the value may be on the under.
League Leader in Batting Average: O/U .341
Altuve not only led the league in hits last season, but also in batting average. The Astros second baseman finished the season with a .341 average and was followed by Victor Martinez (.335), Michael Brantley (.327) and Adrian Beltre (.324).
The 2015 Steamer projections have Miguel Cabrera re-gaining his batting title with a .314 average indicating that there could once again be value on the under. That said, it’s interesting to note that since the start of the 1991 season, the batting champ has hit at least .341 in 22 of the past 24 seasons. However, new changes to the rules regarding rate of play could disproportionately benefit the pitchers which would lead to lower batting averages across the league.
League Leader in Home Runs: O/U 43.5
As we indicated earlier, no hitter in baseball is projected to hit more than 41 home runs and no batter recorded more than 40 home runs last season. Home runs have been steadily decreasing since Barry Bonds broke the single-season record in 2001 and with bettors prone to bet the over on props like this, there could once again be contrarian value on the under.
League Leader in RBI: O/U 124.5
In 2014, Adrian Gonzalez led baseball in runs batted in (RBI) with 116 and only twelve players reached the 100 RBI threshold. According to Steamer projections, Miguel Cabrera and Giancarlo Stanton are each expected to record 104 RBI this season making them co-favorites in the category.
Last season marked the first year since the strike-shortened 1994 season that nobody tallied at least 125 RBI, but scoring continues to drop across the league. Although history would indicate that the value is on the over, the under once again appears to be offering bettors contrarian value.
League Leader in Stolen Bases: O/U 63.5
Let’s not kid ourselves, there are really only two players competing for the stolen base crown this season: Miami’s Dee Gordon and Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton. Although players like Jose Altuve, Ben Revere and Jacoby Ellsbury have put up some gaudy stats over the past few years, Gordon and Hamilton have another gear not possessed by these other players.
Last season with the Dodgers, Gordon led baseball in steals with 64 while Hamilton was tied with Altuve for second with 56. This season, Steamer projections have Hamilton (56) taking the crown from Gordon (48). Much of this is based on the assumption that Gordon’s batting average will slip from .289 in 2014 to .256 in 2015.
Since the retirement of Rickey Henderson, stolen bases haven’t seen the type of variance that we have observed in the power categories. In fact, the league leader has recorded at least 64 steals in eight of the last fifteen years.
It would appear that oddsmakers nailed this total and although we would lean towards the under, we would suggest laying of this prop.
League Leader in Doubles: O/U 52.5
Last season Jonathan Lucroy led baseball with 53 doubles while Steamers has Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano leading the league with 38 doubles in 2015.
League Leader in Triples: O/U 12.5
Last season Angel Pagan led the league in triples with 15 while Steamers has Dee Gordon leading the league with 9 triples in 2015.
League Leader in Saves: O/U 47.5
Last season Fernando Rodney led baseball with 48 saves while Steamers has Craig Kimbrel, Greg Holland, Mark Melancon, Zach Britton and Huston Street all tallying 35 saves in 2015. These projections seem exceedingly low, especially when you consider that a pitcher has recorded at least 48 saves in 11 of the past 14 seasons.
League Leader in Strikeouts: O/U 264.5
Last season David Price (271) and Corey Kluber (269) each recorded at least 265 strikeouts while Clayton Kershaw (239) almost definitely would have joined this list had he not missed 7 starts at the beginning of the year.
Steamer projections have Kershaw leading the league in K’s this season with 227 followed by Yu Darvish (225) and Max Scherzer (224). However, these projections are all based on low innings pitched projections. If we extrapolate these numbers to account for a more appropriate number (240 IP) those strike out numbers climb to 271, 281 and 280 respectively.
With the number of talented pitchers with electric stuff seemingly increasing by the year, we like the league leader to record at least 265 strikeouts this season.
League Leader in Wins: O/U 21.5
Last season Clayton Kershaw led the league in wins with 21, while Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto each recorded 20. Interestingly, only one pitcher has won at least 22 games in the past five seasons (In 2011 Justin Verlander won 24 games). With teams being increasingly cautious with their young pitchers, we would lean towards the under on this bet.
League Leader in Losses: O/U 17.5
Despite signing a large contract in free agency, A.J. Burnett was a train wreck last season, posting a 4.59 ERA with an 8-18 record. Those 18 losses fall in line with historical records as the league-leader in this inauspicious category consistently tallies either 17 or 18 losses. In fact, the league leader has posted exactly 17 or 18 losses in 9 of the past 10 seasons. We’re laying off this prop.
Total No-Hitters: O/U 3.5
No hitters by season:
- 2014: 5
- 2013: 3
- 2012: 7
- 2011: 3
- 2010: 6
- 2009: 2
- 2008: 2
- 2007: 3
- 2006: 1
- 2005: 0
- 2004: 1
- 2003: 2
- 2002: 1
- 2001: 3
- 2000: 0
Over the past 15 seasons, there have been an average of 2.6 no-hitters per season, but that figure has been on the rise recently.
League Leader in Complete Game’s: O/U 6
Last season Clayton Kershaw led baseball in Complete Games with 6, despite making only 27 starts. That said, there appears to be value on the under this season. Most of the league’s top pitchers rely heavily on the strikeout, which leads to higher pitch counts, which leads to fewer complete games.
In the past, players like Roy Halladay would frequently go the distance because they were far more likely to induce ground outs which keeps the pitch count down and causes less stress on the arm. Few star pitchers fit that criteria these days, which is why we would lean towards betting the under.
Will there be a perfect game this season? Yes +150 | No -180
There have only been 21 perfect games in the modern era (which began in 1900) but six of those have occurred since 2009 (Buehrle, Braden, Halladay, Humber, Cain, Hernandez). This is a tough prop to grasp since perfect games used to be a once in a generation feat, yet we’ve seen it accomplished 12 times in the past 25 years.
Most likely World Series matchups (via 5Dimes)
- Washington Nationals vs Los Angeles Angels +2700
- Los Angeles Dodgers vs Los Angeles Angels +3150
- Washington Nationals vs Detroit Tigers +3300
- Washington Nationals vs Boston Red Sox +3600
- Washington Nationals vs Seattle Mariners +3600
- Los Angeles Dodgers vs Detroit Tigers +3850
- Los Angeles Dodgers vs Boston Red Sox +4200
- Los Angeles Dodgers vs Seattle Mariners +4200
- Washington Nationals vs Toronto Blue Jays +4700
- Washington Nationals vs Cleveland Indians +5050
Other 5Dimes player props include:
Home Run Over/Unders
- Giancarlo Stanton 36.5
- Jose Abreu 35.5
- Edwin Encarnacion 34.5
- Mike Trout, Jose Bautista 32.5
- Miguel Cabrera, Anthony Rizzo 31.5
- Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis 30.5
- George Springer 27.5
- Adam Jones, Albert Pujols 26.5
- David Ortiz, Troy Tulowitzki 25.5
- Bryce Harper, Jay Bruce, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Gonzalez 24.5
- Adrian Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Lucas Duda, Yoenis Cespedes 23.5
- Justin Upton, Ryan Braun 22.5
- Carlos Santana, Nolan Arenado, Brian McCann 21.5
- Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig 20.5
- Jason Heyward 17.5
- Jose Altuve 181.5
- Mike Trout, Robinson Cano 173.5
- Andrew McCutchen, Adam Jones 168.5
- Dustin Pedroia 161.5
- Anthony Rendon, Hunter Pence 158.5
- Yasiel Puig 157.5
- Pablo Sandoval 156.5
- Eric Hosmer 155.5
- Alex Gordon 154.5
- Nick Markakis 148.5
- Clayton Kershaw 17.5
- Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Wainwright, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, David Price, Steven Strasburg 14.5
- Yu Darvish, Corey Kluber, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Lance Lynn 13.5
- Hisashi Iwakuma, Johnny Cueto, Sonny Gray, 12.5
- Cole Hamels, Gerritt Cole, Jake Arrieta, Phil Hughes, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Tillman, Dallas Keuchel 11.5
- Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, Yordano Ventura, Jacob DeGrom 10.5
League Leader in Saves
First Manager to be Fired
|Don Mattingly||Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|Ryne Sandberg||Philadelphia Phillies||+350|
|Terry Collins||New York Mets||+400|
|Robin Ventura||Chicago White Sox||+400|
|Walt Weiss||Colorado Rockies||+400|
|Brad Ausmus||Detroit Tigers||+450|
|Bud Black||San Diego Padres||+500|
|Lloyd McClendon||Seattle Mariners||+550|
What are your projections for the 2015 season? Will you be betting any of these props? Please leave any thoughts or comments in the section below.