After making some MLB Win Total picks using Derek Carty's THE BAT X projections on Monday, we're back at it to find value on the MLB Home Run market for the 2022 season.
THE BAT X projections can be found on FanGraphs. We'll compare these to betting lines available and see where the greatest discrepancies lie to find some of the best Over/Under picks before the season gets underway on Thursday.
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THE BAT X 2022 MLB HR total projections
|Player||Projected HR (via THE BAT X)||HR Total O/U|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||42||43.5|
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||34||36.5|
THE BAT X uses Statcast data (ex. barrels, exit velocity, launch angle, sprint speed, and several variations of each). THE BAT is the older system that's been around since before Statcast was developed. Derek Carty created THE BAT X a couple of years ago by using the original methodology of THE BAT and layering on Statcast data. It's only available for hitters so far, the pitcher version is still in development. FantasyPros recently showed that THE BAT X was the most accurate standalone system in 2021 (and THE BAT was next in line).
Win total odds courtesy of DraftKings as of April 5, 2022.
2022 MLB HR total picks based on THE BAT X Projections
- Pick: Machado Over 29.5 HR (-110)
- Pick: Betts Over 27.5 HR (-110)
- Pick: O'Neill Under 34.5 HR (-110)
- Pick: Alvarez Under 39.5 HR (-110)
Manny Machado Over 29.5 home runs (-110)
THE BAT X is more bullish over Machado's potential home run total than other projections after the slugging third baseman failed to eclipse 30 homers for the first time since 2014 a season ago (not counting the abbreviated 2020 campaign, but he was on pace to hit at least 30 if extrapolated over a full 162-game schedule).
So, what was different in 2021? It was Machado's third year with the Padres, so you can't pin a "change-of-scenery" narrative on him. He played 153 games, though, so it can't be chalked up to missed time. One area of note is he saw a slight downtick in his HR/FB rate. He posted a 14.6% HR/FB, which is the lowest since 2013.
Machado still hit the ball hard, posting an average exit velocity of 93.1 mph (9th in MLB per Baseball Savant) and had 247 batted balls fly off the bat at 95 mph or greater, which only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Salvador Perez exceeded.
He hit 31 doubles — compared to the 21 two-baggers in his first year with the Padres in 2019 when he mashed 32 homers. Machado rarely misses time, playing in at least 153 games every year since 2015 (2020 notwithstanding). This seems like an overcorrection by oddsmakers and you can confidently hit the Over.
Mookie Betts Over 27.5 home runs (-110)
Betts battled through injuries — including bone spurs in his hip — last year and was limited to 122 games. He still hit 23 home runs. For what it's worth, Betts has declared himself fully healthy and the hip is no longer bothering him, according to Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.
Like Machado, Betts was on track to easily eclipse 30 bombs in 2020 had it been a full 162-game schedule, going yard 16 times in 55 games. Assuming health, Betts shouldn't have trouble rebounding and going Over a depressed total as THE BAT X expects him to comfortably exceed the proposed total.
Tyler O'Neill Under 34.5 home runs (-110)
The muscular Canadian had a major breakout season in 2021 when he hit .286/.352/.560 with 34 home runs in 537 plate appearances across 138 games.
Several projections expect O'Neill to build on that result and approach 40 bombs. THE BAT X is more conservative in its evaluation, eyeing 31 in 2022. O'Neill's biggest bugaboo is his struggle to make consistent contact. He struck out in 31.3% of his plate appearances a year ago, the sixth-highest among qualified hitters.
His overall power numbers may have been inflated a tad by a red-hot September/October when he hit 13 homers in 32 games down the stretch (he hit 15 in the entire first half of the season).
He saw his HR/FB rate skyrocket to 39.4%, which was actually in line with his numbers from March-May when he hit 12 homers in 34 games, but is unsustainable over the course of a full season. He should still hit around 30 homers, but it's hard to trust O'Neill to hit 35.
Yordan Alvarez Under 39.5 home runs (-110)
Hitting 40 home runs is hard. Yes, five players did it in 2021, but that was actually a drop from 2019 when 10 players reached that plateau. Alvarez is a beast and if he ended the season as one of the few to go above 40 dingers, it wouldn't be shocking.
In theory, it should be easier for him than for others. The 24-year-old will primarily serve as Houston's designated hitter and he won't even need to play in the field during interleague play to stay in the lineup now that the NL has also adopted the DH rule.
But, Alvarez has already missed substantial time due to knee issues. He appeared in just two games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season (though he did get a home run) and was limited to 144 games a year ago and went deep 33 times despite a HR/FB rate of just 21.4%.
There should be some correction to that, but banking on enough to bet on him eclipsing 39.5 homers isn't prudent. Take the Under, and if you're still in doubt... pivot to one of the prior picks like Machado or Betts, who have much more favorable conditions.
Understanding MLB HR title betting odds
Betting MLB home run title odds is about as simple as it gets. You are just betting which player will end the regular season with the most home runs in the MLB. HR title betting futures are usually shown in American style odds and usually look like this:
- Aaron Judge +1,500
This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to profit $1,500 if Judge wins the MLB home run title. Now, most of these markets close when the season starts. But some sportsbooks may post updated odds at different points in the season, and if one player has a large lead in home runs you might see a minus sign (-) ahead of their odds:
- Giancarlo Stanton -110
This means that you would need to bet $110 to win $100 on Stanton winning the MLB home run title. If you want to see the odds in a different format check out our odds converter tool.
Where can I bet on MLB HR title odds?
MLB HR title odds are not at every online sportsbook and casino, but many do offer action. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what MLB odds they have available.
MLB HR Leader FAQ
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the current favorite at +700.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez each hit 48 home runs to lead the majors in 2021. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. led the NL with 42.
Albert Pujols has hit 679 career home runs, which is most among active players, though he is currently a free agent. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is closest with 502.
The last player to lead the majors in home runs in back-to-back seasons is Jose Bautista, who hit 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.