The second half of the MLB season has kicked off, so now is the time to get your future bets in. While MLB betting sites have set heavy favorites to win the MVP awards, the race to lead the league in home runs is much closer. That means there are some great value bets out there, and below we will be sharing some of our favorites. We will explore our three favorite bets for the race along with their odds and why we like them to lead the league in home runs this season.
MLB Awards: The Best Bets To Lead the MLB in Home Runs in 2023
- Shohei Ohtani is the betting favorite at -125
- Matt Olson is just 9 home runs shy of his career high
- Mookie Betts has a .881 slugging percentage in July
Shohei Ohtani (-125 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Shohei Ohtani is the obvious first choice, as he currently leads the league in home runs with 34. The dual-threat has had some struggles on the mound, but he is having a historic season at the plate. Though he started the season strong, Ohtani broke out in June. The MVP-favorite had an impressive 15 home runs last month, finishing with a .952 slugging percentage. He has tied his home run mark from last season and should easily surpass his career-high of 46.
While Ohtani’s batting average has declined slightly in July, his power numbers are still sharply rising, with four home runs in eleven games this month. Even if he regresses a bit in the second half of the season, he will benefit from playing at hitter-friendly Angel Stadium, which has seen the fourth-highest home run total since 2021. The one issue to watch for is the injury to Mike Trout. Without him in the lineup, the Angels don’t have a ton of projection for Ohtani. If his power streak continues at this pace, he could start to see more walks in the second half of the season.
Matt Olson (+180 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Braves second baseman is in the midst of the best season of his career. He is second in the league in home runs with 30, which is just nine short of his career high. He has raised his slugging percentage by over 100 points from last season as he appears to have settled into this Atlanta lineup. That lineup is loaded, which has helped protect Olson and could lead to a 60-home-run season.
One big reason we like this bet is Olson’s teammate, Ronald Acuna Jr. The NL MVP favorite has been incredible this season, and his position atop the Braves lineup has made life easier for Olson. Acuna’s speed and baserunning can be distracting for opposing pitchers, which leads to mistakes against batters. Olson has been capitalizing on this all season, and it could land him his first home run title.
Mookie Betts (+1600 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
At 30 years old, Mookie Betts is in the midst of one of the best campaigns of his impressive career. Betts has failed to recapture his MVP form since joining the Dodgers in 2020, but that appears to be changing. Betts started the season decently well but has improved significantly every month. June saw him hit nine home runs and he already has five in July. On top of that, his batting average is quickly climbing, which means he is seeing the ball well. Combine his improved average with the power we know he has, and you get a prime candidate to lead the league in home runs.
In July, Betts had a .405 batting average and a .881 slugging percentage. He is batting at the top of this impressive Dodgers lineup, with Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and JD Martinez following him. That means opposing pitchers can’t work around Betts, which will give him many chances to go deep. Considering his very favorable odds, betting on Betts is too good to pass up.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.