This handicapper shares his four top proposition bets in regards to home runs by individual players during the upcoming 2015 season. These MLB picks can pay dividends come late September or early October.
Adam Jones Over 27.5
Camden Yards in Baltimore is a hitter friendly ball park, and Jones has certainly taken advantage of those favorable conditions. He’s hit 29 home runs or more in each of the previous three seasons, and averaged 31.3 per year during that time span. The Orioles outfielder also had 618 or more at bats in each of the previous four years, so this is a guy who’s been very durable. The last two seasons he played in 162 and 160-games respectively. Chris Davis will provide adequate protection for Jones in the Baltimore batting order, and recent history has shown that he’ll see some pretty good pitches as a result.
Paul Goldschmidt under 28.5
There’s no questioning Goldschmidt’s raw power. However, he’s coming off an injury shortened season in 2014 which saw him play in just 107-games. He’s going to suffer from be surrounded by a very weak lineup. One would argue that if Mark Trumbo stays healthy, then that wouldn’t be the case. My retort to that ideology would be that Trumbo strikes out way too much. I’m of the strong opinion that teams would much rather pitch around Goldschmidt, and take their chances with Trumbo, who has struck out once per every 3.7 times at bat in his big league career.
Matt Kemp Under 21.5
Kemp is the proverbial lightning rod that can either be a huge spark, or a monumental distraction. The MLB odds makers know this as well. He’s displayed the propensity to become self centered when things don’t go his way. The fences at Petco Park in San Diego will be moved in a bit for the second consecutive season. Even so, it’s far from the hitter friendly Dodger Stadium where Kemp spent the first nine years of his major league career. Staying healthy for an entire season has also been a concern. Kemp has hit just a combined 54 home runs over the past three seasons, and appeared in just 329 of the 488-games the Dodgers played in.
Troy Tulowitzki Over 25.5
Speaking of health issues, Troy Tulowitzki had had his fair share over the past five seasons. Keep that in mind whenever you are preparing your MLB picks. He’s appeared in 126-games or less in four of those five years, but still managed to average 22.2 home runs per season during that time. Case in point, last season he still hit 22 taters despite playing in only 91-games. If he can stay healthy, Tulowitzki can get to 26 home runs by early August, especially considering his home ball park is Coors Field in Denver.