Should you bet on Giancarlo Stanton to finish with more than 61 home runs?

Aug 19, 2017 |
Should you bet on Giancarlo Stanton to finish with more than 61 home runs?
Should Stanton find his way past Maris’ mark of 61 homers, he would become just the fourth player in MLB history to achieve such status.
Photo By - USA Today Images
Should Stanton find his way past Maris’ mark of 61 homers, he would become just the fourth player in MLB history to achieve such status.
Photo By - USA Today Images

This past Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton became just the 21st player in Major League Baseball history to record a home run in at least six consecutive regular season games, joining the ranks of legendary sluggers Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Bonds (twice), Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays and Reggie Jackson, to name just a few.

However, as impressive as Stanton’s streak was to witness as it played out on a nightly basis, it paled in comparison to the true headline-grabbing story that had captivated both the sports talk radio airwaves and television talking heads, which was the fact that the 27-year-old All-Star had found himself on pace to surpass the magical milestone of 61 home runs by season’s end.

Whether you support Barry Bonds (71 home runs in 2001) or Roger Maris (61 home runs in 1961) as the all-time single-season home run king is a debate for another day. What matters here is the news that offshore sportsbook BookMaker.eu was quick to take advantage of the baseball world’s hottest story by posting the following proposition wager in the wake of Stanton’s impressive streak:

Will Giancarlo Stanton break Roger Maris’ home run record of 61?

YES: +350
NO: -450


Entering Tuesday’s series in Philadelphia against the Phillies, Stanton finds himself with 45 home runs and 40 games left on the schedule. For “YES” tickets to cash, Stanton would have to hit a home run every 2.50 games the rest of the way out. Daunting? No question. But remember, this is the same guy who enters Tuesday having annihilated 19 home runs over a 31-game stretch since July 17.

Should Stanton find his way past Maris’ mark of 61 homers, he would become just the fourth player in MLB history to achieve such status, joining the ranks of Barry Bonds (2001), Mark McGwire (1998, 1999) and Sammy Sosa (1998, 1999, 2001).

So how does Stanton’s current pace compare to the other players listed above? Let’s take a look:

Through 122 games:

Barry Bonds in 2001: 56 home runs (finished with 73)
Mark McGwire in 1998: 52 home runs (finished with 70)
Mark McGwire in 1999: 51 home runs (finished with 65)
Sammy Sosa in 1999: 51 home runs (finished with 63)
Roger Maris in 1961: 49 home runs (finished with 61)
Sammy Sosa in 1998: 48 home runs (finished with 66)
Sammy Sosa in 2001: 46 home runs (finished with 64)
Giancarlo Stanton in 2017: 45 home runs (finished with ???)


Suddenly, Stanton’s recent power surge doesn’t look so impressive. Granted, we aren’t interested in whether or not the Miami outfielder can hit 70 dingers this season. Instead, we’re just examining whether or not a “YES” wager on 62 homers is worth the price of admission.

As Stanton finds himself in search of home run No. 46, let’s now explore how many games it took each of those aforementioned sluggers to reach 46 homers in their respective historic seasons:

To reach 46 home runs:

Barry Bonds in 2001: 101 games
Mark McGwire in 1998: 108 games
Mark McGwire in 1999: 111 games
Sammy Sosa in 1998: 115 games
Sammy Sosa in 1999: 116 games
Roger Maris in 1961: 117 games
Sammy Sosa in 2001: 122 games


Stanton enters Tuesday’s showdown with the Phillies sitting on 45 home runs through 122 games.

Ok, so the California product finds himself behind the 1961 pace of Roger Maris - it’s not the end of the world. But how does the rest of the schedule shake down in terms of hitter friendly ballparks vs. pitcher friendly ballparks?

Of Stanton’s 40 remaining games, 20 will take place at Marlins Park in Miami, which currently ranks as the 23rd most hitter-friendly stadium in baseball, according to ESPN’s “Park Factors” metric.

But, the good news is that Miami’s remaining road schedule offers some very tasty opportunities for Stanton from now through the season finale:

-7 games in Philadelphia (2nd most hitter friendly)
-3 games in Colorado (3rd most hitter friendly)
-3 games in Arizona (4th most hitter friendly)
-3 games in Washington (17th most hitter friendly)
-4 games in Atlanta (20th most hitter friendly)


While the road schedule sets up very nicely for Stanton, you still have to factor in the following concerns:

1. Injuries
2. Slumps
3. Intentional walks
4. Pitchers pitching around him
5. Inclement weather
6. A possible trade


Add it all together and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and you have to lean towards “NO” at -450, despite the heavy juice.

Either way, it should be a blast to watch unfold.


For more from Joe Fortenbaugh, be sure to check out The Sharp 600 podcast:


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