Mile-High Forecast: Rockies’ Arenado Wins 2018 Home-Run Crown

nolan arenado

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 12:39 AM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 12:39 AM GMT

MLB’s spring training is almost upon us, and SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks have begun to roll out 2018 season props. Let’s examine the 5Dimes most home runs wager.

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If “chicks dig the long ball,” then they really must have dug the 2017 season. Whether it was because the balls were juiced, as many believe, some players were or that many guys now simply try to hit a homer on every swing, there were a whopping 6,105 home runs hit last regular season, by far a big-league record. The previous mark of 5,693 was set in 2000, right in the Steroid Era. Last year, there was also a record run of 28 consecutive days, from May 30-June 26, in which at least one player had a multi-homer game. One problem with all these guys swinging for the fences is that there were also 40,105 strikeouts in 2017, surpassing the record of 38,982 set the year before.

To little surprise on the 5Dimes most home runs prop for 2018, new Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is the +500 favorite. Last year with Miami, Stanton finally stayed healthy and jacked an MLB-best 59 dingers despite having only 21 of them through the first three months. After the All-Star break, Stanton hit 33 homers, tying the MLB record in August with 18. Stanton played his home games at Marlins Park, which ranked 25th on ESPN’s Home Run Park Factor at 0.835. A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Now Stanton will play half his games at Yankee Stadium, which ranked as the second-best in HR Park Factor at 1.279, behind only Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park (1.409).

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#Yankees Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez have combined for 160 home runs over their last 162 games played.

The #RedSox had 168 home runs in 2017.

— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) December 9, 2017
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Stanton’s new teammate, Aaron Judge, is the +800 second-favorite. He led the American League with 52 homers in 2017, breaking Mark McGwire’s MLB mark of 49 set in 1987. Judge, who also won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game, hit 33 of those dingers at home even though he had four more road at-bats. See what Stanton’s in for at Yankee Stadium? The last Yankee to lead the majors in homers was Alex Rodriguez with 54 in 2007.

Hard to argue with the Nationals’ Bryce Harper (+1500), Orioles’ Manny Machado (+1800) and Angels’ Mike Trout (+1800) as the other guys listed below +2000. Harper and Machado have extra motivation for a big season, if they need one, as they are set to break the bank in free agency next winter.

This writer is going with Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado at +2500. He obviously has the advantage of 81 home games in the thin air at Coors Field. Arenado tied for the National League lead in homers in both 2015 (42) and ’16 (41) but “slacked” to 37 last season when he joined Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Wade Boggs as the only third basemen to win at least three straight Silver Slugger Awards. Arenado is just the second player in major-league history with three or more seasons of at least 35 home runs and 130 RBIs before age 27.

You also want to pick a guy on this prop who has proven to be durable, which Stanton hasn’t. Arenado has played at least 157 games each of the past three seasons and is just reaching his prime at 26 (27 in April). Arenado also has plenty of prediction around him in that Colorado lineup.

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