The 2021 MLB Season will start as scheduled on April 1 and play through the summer, with the postseason beginning in early October.
Most of the experiments from the shortened 2020 season – including the universal DH – are no longer in effect, but the MLBPA and owners have agreed to play 7-inning double headers and start a runner in scoring position in regular season extra inning games.
It’s also vital to note that MLB is using a different baseball this season with the intention of limiting the record-setting HR numbers we’ve seen in recent years.
Here, we’re analyzing the MLB Futures market ahead of the season and in this article, we look at the betting odds at the top US sportsbooks to lead Major League Baseball in home runs in 2021.
Pete Alonso, the 2019 HR champion, and Mike Trout are the primary favorites at most sportsbooks, with Joey Gallo, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuna Jr. also getting a fair shot at winning the home run crown.
We’ll break down the individual contenders into sections as well, based on their individual home run propositions. There is a healthy market at DraftKings and FanDuel to bet on the performance of specific batters.
HR leader odds (April 23, 2021)*
*Home run markets might not be available while games are in action
MLB home run total over/unders
The 40 club
Pete Alonso: 41.5 Home Runs (+105 Over) / (-130 Under): Alonso’s swing is built for power and he used that approach to set a rookie record with 53 HRs in 2019. He tallied 16 homers over 57 games in 2020 and will have more protection in the lineup this season after new Mets owner Steve Cohen went on a spending spree.
Mike Trout: 41.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): The consensus best all-around player in baseball has ramped up his power in recent years and was on pace for 51 HRs with 17 bombs through 53 games last summer. Trout hit 45 HRs in 2019 and averaged 35.5 home runs over his previous four seasons. Trout is tied with Alonso as the favorite with +1000 odds to win the HR title according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The 35 club
Joey Gallo: 38.5 Home Runs (+110 Over) / (-137 Under): In the analytics-driven Majors, Gallo is a classic example of a player swinging for the fences at all costs. The 6-foot-5 LHB hit 40 and 41 HRs in 2017 and 2018 before playing 70 games in an injury-plagued 2019 season. The new Globe Life Park in Arlington isn’t conducive to cheap HRs, but Gallo hits a lot of moon shots.
Juan Soto: 38.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): Soto is dead even with Mookie Betts (+750) as the favorite to win N.L. MVP this season after hitting .351 with 13 HRs over just 47 games during a disappointing 2020 campaign for the Nationals. The 22-year-old LHB is just scratching the surface of his potential and he’s already showcasing effortless power to all fields.
Cody Bellinger: 38.5 Home Runs (-106 Over) / (-118 Under): The Dodgers might continue to bat Bellinger sixth, which could limit his at-bats while increasing his RBI opportunities. The sweet-swinging lefty hit 39 HRs in 2017 and 47 in 2019 after a brief power outage with 25 HRs in 2018. He played all 162 games that year and his durability is a big plus.
Giancarlo Stanton: 38.5 Home Runs (-118 Over) / (-106 Under): Taking the Over on Stanton’s season-long propositions would be extremely risky given his injury history. The Yankees slugger only played 18 games in 2019 and 23 in the shortened 2020 season due to a variety of maladies – although he did hit 59 HRs in his last year with the Marlins and 38 in his first year with New York.
Ronald Acuna Jr.: 37.5 Home Runs (-124 Over) / (+100 Under): The Braves have used Acuna Jr. as a leadoff man at times, but aren’t asking him to sacrifice his power swing. The 23-year-old hit 41 HRs as a rookie in 2019 and smashed 14 HRs over just 46 regular season games last year. He has excellent opposite field power and should top this total if he can stay healthy.
Bryce Harper: 37.5 Home Runs (-106 Over) / (-118 Under): Harper hasn’t topped 35 HRs since his MVP campaign in 2015, although he tallied 34 and 35 HRs in 2018 and 2019 while proving to be a durable everyday player. Citizens Bank Park is friendly for lefties with a 330-foot wall down the RF line and Harper hit 20 bombs in 81 home games in 2019.
Fernando Tatis Jr.: 35.5 Home Runs (-106 Over) / (-118 Under): While he’s an exciting young hitter on one of the most exciting teams to watch heading into 2021, Tatis will have a hard time leaving the yard in home games at massive Petco Park. The switch-hitting SS has 39 HRs over 143 MLB appearances and 19 of those have come in San Diego.
The 30 club
Marcell Ozuna: 34.5 Home Runs (-121 Over) / (-104 Under): The Braves lineup is terrifying and Ozuna has been lapping up RBI opportunities on a team that scored the second-most runs (348) last season. He hit 37 HRs in his final season in Miami in 2017 and demonstrated an ability to hit for power and average after joining Atlanta in 2020.
Aaron Judge: 34.5 Home Runs (-124 Over) / (+100 Under): While he’s also been injury-prone, Judge is significantly younger than his teammate, Giancarlo Stanton, and more likely to play closer to a full season. He hit 52 HRs in his last full season in 2017 and hit 27 HRs in both 2018 and 2019 while playing just over 100 games each year.
Christian Yelich: 34.5 Home Runs (-124 Over) / (+100 Under): The 2018 N.L. MVP is a prime bounce back candidate in a weaker N.L. Central that has the most home run-friendly ballpark (Cincinnati) for LHB. Yelich hit 36 HRs in 2018 and 44 in 2019 while batting well over .300 in both campaigns.
Mookie Betts: 34.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): Betts has never hit over 32 HRs in a season and will be asked to set the table more often at the top of the loaded Dodgers lineup. He did slug 16 HRs over just 55 games in 2020 and stayed hot through the postseason, but this is a high number for the Dodgers star.
Nelson Cruz: 34.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): At 40 years old, Cruz could start to slow down this season. But he’s been a marvel thus far and averaged 40.6 HRs per season from 2014-2019. Cruz is hitting .308 with 57 HRs since joining the Twins in 2019.
Nolan Arenado: 32.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): Arenado moves away from Coors Field, which helped him top 37 HRs in five consecutive seasons from 2014-2019. The Cardinals coaching staff always seems to get the most out of their players and it would be surprising if Arenado struggled at the plate. It just remains to be seen how much of a power approach he might take.
Francisco Lindor: 31.5 Home Runs (-112 Over) / (-112 Under): Lindor topped 32 HRs in three consecutive seasons with the Indians from 2017-2019 and appears happy and motivated to be a leader for the new-look Mets. There are plenty of hitter-friendly ballparks in the N.L. East.
Alex Bregman: 30.5 Home Runs (-106 Over) / (-118 Under): Did sign-stealing help Bregman slug 72 HRs with a .292 batting average in 2018 and 2019? He certainly took a step back with 6 HRs and a .242 average over 42 games in 2020, and won’t have as much protection in the lineup with George Springer gone.
Best Home Runs betting site(s)
Along with betting players from a pool of 50 or more candidates (deemed by the sportsbook as the most likely options to win the home run crown), bettors can also bet the home run total for individual players. A line has been set for select stars and notable names similarly to an Over/Under total for a game. For instance, Soto’s 2021 home run total is set at 38.5 (at DraftKings Sportsbook). Odds will typically be equal on both sides of the line and they’ll be priced with a modest amount of juice.
The odds and lines for both bet types will be adjusted throughout the season based on player performance and public betting action. If Soto were to hit 10 home runs in April, his odds would likely drop relative to his competition and his season-total line would rise. If he were to fail to hit a homer in the first month of the season, his odds would rise and his individual total would drop. Players may be added or dropped from the available options based on their performance throughout the season.
Where can I bet on MLB home runs?
Most legal and regulated sportsbooks in the US will offer futures odds on MLB’s home run leader in 2021, along with player props for their respective season total. Be sure to check out different odds and lines at DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet and PointsBet to ensure you get the most profitable odds for your betting option.
Once under the MLB/Baseball tab at your book of choice, select Futures from the dropdown menu. From there, click Player Futures, Awards or Player Props. The odds for the home run leader are likely to be offered alongside the MVP and Cy Young awards for either league.