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MLB Home Run Leader: Matt Olson Appears to Be the Presumed Winner

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Updated September 12, 2023
12 min read

After a fascinating race, most prominent sportsbooks are no longer giving odds on the home run leader predictions in 2023. After Matt Olson reached 50 home runs, six more than his next closest competitor, he appears to be the presumed winner. He’s put together an MVP-caliber season and is running away with the MLB lead in both home runs and RBI. Olson began the season with +1600 odds to be the home run king, largely because he had never hit more than 39 home runs in a season previously. 

However, he’s been remarkably consistent at hitting home runs all season, avoiding prolonged droughts and hitting at least seven home runs in every month of the season. In early September, Olson hit home runs in four straight games, ending up with seven homers in a nine-game stretch to make his lead all but insurmountable.

Please check back in 2024 because we will once again be sharing weekly updates on the home run race next season.

MLB Home Run Leaders Odds

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Mlb Home Run Leader

MLB Home Run Leader Analysis & Predictions

The odds to be the home run king in 2023 change just as quickly as players hit home runs. But we do our best to keep track of the players with the shortest odds of becoming the 2023 home run king and giving an overview of where they stand. Let’s look at the current players with the best odds of ending the 2023 MLB season with the most home runs.

Matt Olson

Olson should consider himself lucky to still be the leader and the betting favorite in this race. This past Sunday, Olson hit his 44th homer of the year and his first since August 13. That snapped an 18-game homerless streak, which is by far his longest drought of the season. Somehow, Olson’s odds only dropped from -210 to -125 over the past week, meaning he’s still the hitter to beat in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Obviously, he’s hoping that Sunday’s home run is a sign of things to come. However, Olson hit eight homers in July and just seven in August. Time will tell, but it’s possible that he’ll need to hit double-digit long balls in September to be the home run champ.

Shohei Ohtani

Much like Olson, Ohtani has hit a home run drought at the wrong time of the year. Ohtani finished with just five home runs in August and hasn’t hit a ball out of the park since August 23. His lack of homers is why Olson remains the favorite, although Ohtani’s odds have shortened some from +185 to +145 over the past week. To be fair, since Ohtani’s last home run, he’s hit five doubles and one triple, so the elbow problem that will keep him off the mound for the rest of the year hasn’t taken away his power. That’s why Ohtani still holds value as the home run king. However, much like Olson, their lead at the top is dwindling, so Ohtani can’t afford to go too much longer without a home run.

Pete Alonso

Much like Olson and Ohtani, Alonso recently experienced a home run drought, going 11 games without one. But that was before he hit two homers in September. He opened the final month of the season with a bang after hitting nine homers in August. With the way Alonso can hit homers in bunches, he is a serious contender and has remarkable value at +650, even if that is down slightly from +950 the previous week. That two-homer game on Sunday could be considered a warning shot to Olson and Ohtani that Alonso is still a contender and could be about to get hot.

Kyle Schwarber

While the sluggers ahead of him in the home run race have gone cold, Schwarber has heated up. Since August 18 when he hit two homers in one game, Schwarber has hit nine home runs in 15 games. It’s the kind of stretch that has him back in contention. His odds to be the home run king have moved from +13000 to +1700 over the last week, which is a monumental shift. The catch is that Schwarber needs to stay as hot as he’s been for the past two weeks for the next month. That may be easier said than done. However, unless Olson and Ohtani can get back on track quickly, Schwarber isn’t going to go away.

Mookie Betts

Much like Schwarber, the power drought of the top home run hitters has kept Betts in the discussion. His odds have moved from +13000 to +4200 over the past week, so he’s lost a lot of value but is still very much in the race. He closed out the month of August with five home runs in five games, giving him 11 for the month. After hitting just five in July, that was a bounce-back month for Betts, as 11 is the most homers he’s hit in a single month all year. Even with 38 home runs heading into the first full week of September, Betts is still half a dozen homers off the lead. However, if he can hit another 11 or 12 home runs in September, he still has a chance to pull off a shock and become the home run king in 2023.

Aaron Judge, Luis Robert, and Jorge Soler

With the trio of Judge, Robert, and Soler still getting odds from FanDuel, it’s worth mentioning them. Robert and Soler are both within 10 home runs of the lead but have shown the ability to hit home runs in bunches, so a strong September from either could make them a factor if Olson and Ohtani can’t come alive. Judge, meanwhile, is more than a dozen off the lead and is barely going to play 100 games this year. However, he hit 12 home runs in May and is more than capable of having a double-digit month, giving him a chance if everything else falls into place for him.

How To Read Home Run Leader Odds

Anyone new to betting shouldn’t have trouble reading home run leader odds. Sportsbooks will give all of the top sluggers in baseball a moneyline based on their chances of leading the majors in homers at the end of the season. 

That moneyline will tell you the payout if you bet on that player and they end up leading the majors in home runs. 

For instance, a moneyline of +1000 means that if you bet $100, the profit will be $1,000. Likewise, a $10 bet with those odds would lead to a profit of $100. If you need help getting accustomed to betting odds, check out the WSN odds calculator.

Previous MLB Home Run Leaders

2022 - Aaron Judge, 62

2021 - Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Salvador Perez, 48

2020 - Luke Voit, 22

2019 - Pete Alonso, 53

2018 - Khris Davis, 48

2017 - Giancarlo Stanton, 59

2016 - Mark Trumbo, 47

2015 - Chris Davis, 47

2014 - Nelson Cruz, 40

2013 - Chris Davis, 53

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Bryan Zarpentine

139 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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