2012 American League Home Run Champ Vegas Odds and Predictions – Favorites, Dark Horses and Sleepers to Win the 2012 Home Run Championship: While the National League may like to steal bases and manufacturer runs, the American League is all about the long ball. The designated hitter changes the way teams play the game, and the predominant strategy is to get a few guys on base and wait for game-changing home run. Not surprisingly, some of the best sluggers in the majors reside in the AL, and after an eventful offseason, even more firepower is now in the mix. There is a good chance that the player that wins the AL home run title will lead all of baseball, as well.
The Favorites – 2012 AL Home Run Champ Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
From 2004 to 2009, Jose Bautista never hit more than 16 home runs in a season. He has combined for 97 homers the last two years with Toronto, leading the majors in 2010 with 54 and again last season with 43. While the source of his sudden power remains somewhat of a mystery, the bottom line is that Bautista has emerged as the top power hitter in the game. The scary thing is that he is still improving as an overall hitter. He set career highs in walks (132), batting average (.302) and on-base percentage (.447) last year. After proving his 2010 campaign was no fluke, it is time to put him among the elite sluggers in baseball. Until someone can dethrone Bautista, the two-time reigning MLB home run champ is the man to beat.
After being courted by numerous teams during the offseason, Albert Pujols will be taking his big bat to the Angels in 2012. Over his 11-year career, he has averaged 40.5 home runs per season, hitting 32 or more in every year. Pujols hasn’t slowed down in recent seasons either, averaging 40.8 home runs during the past four seasons. Plain and simple, he is one of the top overall hitters and power hitters in baseball history. Moving to the American League where he will be able to DH at times to stay fresh should ensure that he remains a force in the middle of the Angels’ lineup for the next several seasons. Pujols’ first season in the AL could easily end with a home run title and maybe more.
The Dark Horses – 2012 AL Home Run Champ Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
He has been crushing National League pitching the last six seasons, but in 2012, Prince Fielder will take his big bat to the American League. He signed with Detroit in the offseason, and teaming with fellow slugger Miguel Cabrera should prevent opponents from pitching either player. Fielder has been a natural home run hitter since breaking into the majors, and he has averaged 40 homers over the past five seasons. He has hit as many as 50 during the stretch, and he finished second in the NL last season with 38 round trippers. Fielder should become an immediate threat to win the AL home run title, and a 40 homer debut with the Tigers is well within his reach.
Slugging home runs is something Mark Teixeira has been doing for nearly a decade. His 39 homer effort last season was his eighth straight season reaching the 30 home run mark. Last year’s total was also good enough to finish third in the American League. Teixeira has a permanent spot in the middle a New York lineup that is one of the best in baseball, and he should get plenty of pitches to hit all season long. Not to mention the fact that he gets to play half his games in a very hitter-friendly park. Teixeira has had two of his three-best home run totals in his three years with the Yankees, and there is no reason he should slow down in 2012.
The Sleepers – 2012 AL Home Run Champ Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions
When Mark Reynolds steps to the plate, there is a good chance one of two things is going to happen. He is going to hit a home run or strike out. Over the past three years, he has averaged more than 200 strikeouts, but he has also averaged more than 37 home runs. While a player that flirts with the Mendoza line and 200-plus strikeouts on a yearly basis isn’t exactly a great all-around hitter, there is no doubting Reynolds’ power. He has hit as many as 44 homers in a season, and he hit 37 in his first season with Baltimore in 2011. History says Reynolds will be right around the 40-homer mark again in 2012, which should put him in the running for the AL home run crown.
From 2004 to 2010, Curtis Granderson hit between 19 and 30 home runs in every season. Last year, he exploded for 41 round trippers, finishing second in the American League. While Granderson has always had above average power for a player that bats at or near the top of a lineup, last season’s numbers were shocking. He credited a change in his batting stance, and a hitter-friendly park and loaded Yankees’ lineup probably didn’t hurt either. At any rate, his massive home run total from a year ago could end up being an outlier based on his career numbers. However, the fact that Granderson is coming off a 40-plus home run season is more than enough reason to consider him a threat for the AL home run crown in 2012.
Odds to win the 2012 MLB Home Run Championship
Jose Bautista +650
Albert Pujols +900
Giancarlo Stanton +900
Prince Fielder +1000
Miguel Cabrera +1200
Mark Teixeira +1500
Adrian Gonzalez +1800
Mark Reynolds +1800
Matt Kemp +1800
Ryan Braun +2000
Curtis Granderson +2200
Evan Longeria +2500
Troy Tulowitzki +2500
Adam Dunn +3000
Alex Rodriguez +3000
Jay Bruce +3000
Nelson Cruz +3000
Dan Uggla +3500
Joey Votto +3500
Josh Hamilton +3500
Justin Upton +3500
Mike Morse +3500
Adam Lind +4000
Mike Napoli +4000
Adrian Beltre +5000
Carlos Pena +5000
Paul Konerko +5000
Robinson Cano +5000
David Ortiz +10000
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