The Miami Marlins approach the upcoming season with distant 50/1 odds to win the World Series but that has not lowered expectations for slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has emerged as a strong +700 betting favorite to lead the major leagues in home runs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Stanton is coming off a disappointing 2015 campaign in which he initially looked poised to repeat as National League home run champ. However, after connecting on 27 long balls in just 74 games, Stanton’s season was cut short by a hand injury that required surgery and prevented him from swinging a bat until December.
The 26-year-old has also battled a nagging knee injury during the current Grapefruit League schedule, picking up just his first home run of the spring in the Marlins’ 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
Stanton is closely followed on the home run champion odds by Mike Trout, listed at +900 at the sportsbooks. The 2014 American League MVP hit a career-high 41 home runs for the Los Angeles Angels last year, including 12 in the month of July, but went yard on just nine occasions over the final two months of the season.
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper broke through with 42 home runs in an MVP season a year ago, and is pegged as a +1000 bet to be tops in the majors in long balls, followed by the 2015 AL home run king, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, at +1200, and Krys Bryant of the Chicago Cubs at +1400.
The Toronto Blue Jays were one of the biggest stories of 2015, powering to their first AL East division title since 1993 on the strength of a 43-18 stretch run. Toronto also led the majors with 232 total home runs, and have three sluggers sporting 20/1 odds to win the home run title, including reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion.
Donaldson busted out in his first year in Toronto, establishing career-bests in multiple offensive categories, including 41 home runs. Meanwhile, Bautista’s 40 round-trippers in 2015 now give him a total of 227 since 2010, and Encarnacion has averaged almost 38 dingers over the past four seasons.
The Blue Jays’ bats are joined at 20/1 on the odds to lead baseball in home runs this season by a trio of sluggers including Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners, Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins, and the Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado.