2017 MLB Home Run Totals
Yesterday, Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas released their individual player home run totals for the upcoming season. With 40 names listed, surely at least a few names should provide some value. These totals are relatively in line with their home run title odds that were also updated yesterday.
Let’s take a look at one player from each tier (30.5+, 25.5-30, 20-25) that I feel provides value.
KRIS BRYANT: OVER 33.5
Last season, Bryant built on his impressive rookie season by winning the NL MVP at just 24-years-old. He was able to increase his home run total from 26 to 39 by cutting his strikeout rate down by over 8%, per Fangraphs, and putting more balls in play. His uppercut swing has translates into 45% of his balls in play resulting in fly balls and considering his stature, those balls leave the yard at a pretty good clip. I think Bryant will have no problem reaching 34 home runs this season and has a sizable chance of eclipsing 40.
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT: OVER 27.5
Last season, Paul Goldschmidt had a “down” year by his standards despite putting up a .900 OPS. This is because he put up some of the worst power numbers of his career looking at both traditional (24 home runs) and advanced statistics (.192 isolated power). While Bryant’s propensity to hit fly balls has led to his home run hitting ability, Goldschmidt’s inability to lift the ball last season hurt his numbers. He posted a career low 28.8% fly ball rate and career high 46.5% ground ball rate. Those might be what Billy Hamilton is aiming for, but when you’re 6’4″ and 245 pounds, you would optimally like to flip those numbers around. Even if Goldschmidt doesn’t look at those numbers, people in the D-Backs organization certainly do and will likely have him work on fixing this issue. Look for Goldy to be back in the 30 home run range again in 2017.
CARLOS CORREA: OVER 21.5
About a year ago at this time, baseball fans and media personalities alike had a case of Correa fever. The former number 1 overall pick was very impressive in his 99 game debut in 2015, putting up 22 home runs and an .857 OPS. In fact, he was so impressive that MLB Network tabbed him as the 13th best player in the league in their “Top 100 Right Now” special before the 2016 season. Despite having a well-above average year last season (4.9 WAR, 20 home runs, .812 OPS), he didn’t quite live up to those very lofty and premature expectations set by the media. At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, Correa is one of the biggest shortstops in the league and should be able to take advantage of Minute Maid Park’s short left field porch (315 feet down the line). Correa’s 162 game pace of 36 home runs in 2015 is probably a little high to expect, but I do believe he will overcome his “sophomore slump” this season and hit around 30 dingers.
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