A home run happens in baseball when a batter can circle the bases, enabling himself and all the runners already on base to score with no error committed by the defensive team.

An automatic home run is scored when a batter hits the ball on the fly over the outfield fence in fair territory. An inside-the-park home run occurs when a batter reaches home plate while the baseball remains on play on the infield. Home runs are tallied in every baseball league and the MLB is no different Every season, a home run king is awarded to both leagues but while there are two home run leaders, there is only one home run king during the season and he is the player who has the most home runs in all of Major League Baseball.

Baseball MLB’s Home Run Kings

The Legendary Babe Ruth held the record for most home runs in a single season with 60. That record stood for 34 years before Roger Maris hit 61 homers in 1961. 37 years later, Maris’ record was broken by Mark McGwire in 1998. In 2001, Barry Bonds hit 73 to set the current record for most home runs in a single season.

Since 1990, only a total of 25 players have hit 50 or more home runs in a single season. Last season’s home run king, Peter Alonso, was one of those with a total of 53 homers. Alonso was the only player to hit at least 50 home runs in the Majors last season. This year, Alonso is among the top betting favorites to lead MLB in homers again.

Here are the odds to lead the MLB in home runs during the 2020 season. These odds were taken from BetOnline as of 03/30/20:

Player Odds
Joey Gallo +800
Aaron Judge +1000
Pete Alonso +1000
Mike Trout +1100
Cody Bellinger +1400
Giancarlo Stanton +1400
Yordan Alvarez +1400
Christian Yelich +1800
Ronald Acuna Jr. +1800
Eugenio Suarez +2000
Franmil Reyes +2000
Matt Olson +2000
Nelson Cruz +2000
Nolan Arenado +2000

Baseball Who Are the Favorites?

Joey Gallo established himself an AL MVP candidate last season before suffering an oblique strain and broker right hamate bone ended his season prematurely. He was putting it together early last season, hitting .293/.426/.687 with 15 homers before the end of May 2019. Now if he can play a full season and continue to improve lookout. His 2020 potential is what put him on top of the current odds board.

Aaron Judge hasn’t replicated his 52-home run feat in 2017 nor has he ever come close to that. But neither has he played much since that season. Judge played 42 games less in 2018 and 53 games fewer in 2019 than he did in 2017. Still, his 27 home runs last year were good enough considering he suffered a collapsed lung last season and wasn’t 100% since he first felt a “pop in his chest” while diving for a ball last September 2019. If Judge gets healthy this season, he is also a very good choice for home run king.

Pete Alonso has a legit shot at becoming the first back to back home run king since Joe Bautista in 2010-11. Alonso wasn’t even guaranteed a roster spot during Spring Training but not only did he earn it, but he also took the league by storm. The Polar Bear set a new rookie record with 53 home runs in 161 games, surpassing the 52 set by Aaron Judge in 2017 with two playing dates left during the season. Anyone who pops 53 as a rookie is as good a bet as anyone else.

Mike Trout is getting dangerous as each year passes. Trout is arguably the best player in baseball right now and he has prodigious power. He’s never led the league in homers before although last season, he went neck and neck with Alonso and the rest of the leaders before he suffered a neuroma on his left foot down the stretch. Still. Trout finished 5th in the home run race while drilling a career-high 45.

Cody Bellinger has always had a penchant for home runs. In 2017, he set the NL record for a rookie with 39 home runs. He was on another level last season as he blasted 47 dingers, the third-most in a single season by a Dodgers’ player. Bellinger ranked 4th overall in home runs last season behind Alonso, Suarez, and Soler. He played 156 games in 2019 and 162 in 2018 and his history of good health makes him a good choice for the 2020 home run title.

Baseball Who Will Be the Next Home Run King?

A year ago, Pete Alonso was merely an unproven prospect. But he went on to lead the Majors in home runs last season and was the only player in the MLB to hit at least 50 homers in 2019. Eugenio Sanchez ranked next to Alonso in home runs last season. Sanchez exceeded his previous career-high by 15 home runs total 49 last season. Jorge Soler led the American League with 48 home runs last season. That number doubles his previous career-best total.

There is no doubt that both Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge are legit big-time hitters and that if both will be healthy this season, they have a very good chance of leading the majors in home runs. However, Judge has been injury-plagued since 2018 while it remains to be seen if Gallo can sustain last year’s breakout performance.

I like Alonso and Trout here because the two ranked second overall in barrels. With a reduced ground ball rate of 40.8% in 2019, both have a good chance of hitting the baseball out of the ballpark. I think Alonso is capable of hitting 60 home runs this season but despite that, I will go with Mike Trout.

Please Note

Trout has increased his home run totals from 29 in 2017 to 33 the following season than to 39 in 2018, and 45 last season. This guy hits the ball as hard as any hitter with 17 homers at 110mph or faster and six home runs 450 feet or farther. His .645 slugging percentage last season was a career-high and ranked second in the majors behind Christian Yelich.

Trout continues to get better each year and I envision him getting even better in 2020. Alonso had a monster 2019 but unless I see him do it on a year to year basis, I’m picking Mike Trout. His body of work over the last couple of years is impressive. And for a guy with his skills, he’s going to win that home run title one of these years. I think it’s going to be this coming season.

Prediction: Mike Trout

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