Even with all of the early-season concerns about the “ball being dead” and home runs being significantly down in MLB, some of the league’s biggest stars have still managed to put together monster home run seasons. With so many of those guys nearing significant home run milestones, the second half of the 2022 season could feature a lot of longball history being made. The MLB preseason odds didn’t expect guys like Aaron Judge or Mike Trout to reach 200 and 350 homers, respectively, this season so if you took those bets when you could have, you’re in a great position.
Looking at MLB future odds for individual player home runs can be a tricky endeavor, though, because a two or three week injury absence, could turn a surefire-winning bet into a painful loss.
So, a lot of luck needs to be involved for any of these types of picks to cash out. Let’s run through a trio of guys who are having such good seasons that they could reach big personal home run milestones this season while also ensuring huge gains for anyone who bet on them to do so.
What else is there to say about Aaron Judge at this point? He leads MLB with a ridiculous 29 home runs in 75 games, has a 179 OPS+, and is on pace to blow by the 200-home-run mark by season’s end. The judge started the season with 158 home runs so he was just 42 away from 200 and, barring an unfortunate injury or uncharacteristic late-season collapse, he’ll easily eclipse 200 dingers.
Considering that he hit “just” 39 home runs in his monster 2021 campaign, Judge was just +140 to get to 200 this year based on the MLB preseason odds. Now, with him seemingly hitting a homer every other game, as the New York Yankees seemingly win all of their games; Judge has a real chance to be the first player with 60+ home runs in a season since 2001 when both Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa did it.
Interestingly, Judge’s home run over/under before the season was a mere 36.5, which he might beat before the end of July. Good on you if you got the over for that betting odds at -125.
Even with his Angels teammate Shohei Ohtani and Judge getting most of the AL MVP buzz, we shouldn’t forget about Mike Trout and the awesome season he is having — yet again.
It’s easy to discount Trout’s greatness because it looks so easy for him, and because he is so consistently incredible every season, so his 2022 output needs to be celebrated. Trout, through roughly half the season, has 23 home runs and a ridiculous 1.037 OPS (which translates to a 190 OPS+).
He is just 17 dingers away from 350 for his career. Considering that Trout was at 310 before the season, the odds for him to get to 350 in 2022 were slim at +200. The big concern for Trout is always health, though, so there are a lot of seasons left for him to get through which is concerning; however, he has been able to stay on the field for much of the year so far and that could be a sign of good things to come. As long as Trout is able to play, he should be able to get to 350 and cash the over for his preseason over/under (38.5 homers) as well.
If you like to bet on MLB preseason futures, you probably passed on taking “yes” for Jose Altuve to get his 200th career home run in the 2022 season. Altuve was at 164 home runs before the year and, with his previous season-high for homers being 31 — which he did last season as well as in 2019 – it doesn’t seem like the smartest pick to expect him to knock out 36 long balls.
But, the MLB preseason odds pegged “yes” as a very juicy +375 favorite and it’s not completely out of the question that Altuve cashes that bet out. He has missed some time this season, only playing in 60 out of the Houston Astros’ 75 games but has still managed to post 15 home runs, good for one every four games.
If he continues at that pace, he’ll be right at the 21 extra homers he needs to reach 200. It’s not likely, per se, but with how good Altuve has been this season and with how much protection he gets from the rest of the tough Houston lineup, it’s definitely a possibility.