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True baseball fans will tell you a pitcher’s duel, resulting in a 1-0 game, is what the sport is all about. But let’s face it, we all love home runs.

Whether it’s a grand slam or a 9th inning walk-off, homers are what we see on the daily highlights. Wagering on the Home Run Title has gotten more and more popular with each passing season.

If you are going to make a long-term investment on a Futures bet, do your homework, be disciplined, and look for value. With just over one week of Spring training in the books, some hitters have sprung out already, clearing the fences.

Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar (as of print) has smashed four round-trippers while three players are tied with three, Padres 3B Christian Villanueva, Giants OF Mac Williamson, and Royals RF Jorge Soler.

Without any surprise, many of last season’s top long ball hitters make up the 2018 list of forecasted favorites. Thanks to our good friends over at the Red Rock race and sportsbook, below are their current odds on the top batters to win the Home Run crown:

Giancarlo Stanton +350; Aaron Judge +500; Cody Bellinger +1200; Bryce Harper +1400;

J.D. Martinez +1500; Mike Trout +1600; Nolan Arenado +1800; Joey Gallo +2000;

Manny Machado +2000; Kris Bryant +2500; Paul Goldschmidt +2500; Rhys Hoskins +2500;

Freddie Freeman +3400; Josh Donaldson +3500; Miguel Sano +3500; Khris Davis +3500;

Chris Davis +3500; Nelson Cruz +3500; Edwin Encarnacion +4000.

Some other key players that offer value are Astros OF George Springer at +5000, Reds 1B Joey Votto +5000, and Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon +10000. All are in dangerous lineups and play home games in hitter-friendly parks.

Speaking of Blackmon, since Ruth/Gehrig, Mantle/Maris, and McGwire/Canseco, when a lineup possesses more than one power hitter, both thrive. It’s tougher on opposing pitchers to pitch around both.

Having said that, Blackmon is in the same batting order as Arenado in Colorado. Martinez has the luxury of hitting inside of a very deadly Boston lineup, but no tandem in the Major Leagues will be as feared as Stanton and Judge of the New York Yankees.

The Bronx Bombers will once again have one of the top run-producing offenses in baseball. But last season’s top-2 Home Run hitters (Stanton 59, Judge 52) aren’t the only batters in NY’s lineup pitchers have to worry about, making the pair the favorites this upcoming season to belt the most dingers.

Again, be sure to get value out of every Futures bet. We aren’t in this for fun. The purpose is to make money. But, isn’t it always more fun when we are making money? So be smart.

In upcoming columns I will be covering pitchers, injuries, rivalries, and Big League Weekend with the Cubs vs. Indians here in Las Vegas at Cashman Field. Once the regular-season begins on Thursday, March 29, you will have my highest-rated MLB winning picks as well.

Good luck and have a winning day.

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