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Yankees Favored to Lead MLB in Homers; Twins Back in Fourth

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Jul 21, 2020 · 6:43 PM PDT

New York Yankees
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge launches a home run. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (Flickr).
  • The New York Yankees have the shortest odds to lead MLB in home runs, followed by the LA Dodgers
  • New York hit 306 homers in a full 162-game season last year, one behind league leading Minnesota
  • Read below for analysis on whether or not the Yankees are strong bet to hit the most home runs in 2020

The New York Yankees are called the Bronx Bombers for a reason. They have a stacked lineup from top to bottom, with major power at all nine positions. New York went deep 306 times during a full 162-game schedule in 2019, and did so without one of the game’s most prolific home run hitters.

Well good news for Yankees fans, and bad news for AL and NL East pitchers, Giancarlo Stanton is fully healthy and is just one of the many reasons why New York is favored to lead the league in homers in 2020.

Odds to Lead MLB in Home Runs in 2020

Team Odds
New York Yankees +650
Los Angeles Dodgers +700
Houston Astros +800
Minnesota Twins +1000
Milwaukee Brewers +1000
Oakland Athletics +1000
Atlanta Braves +1200
Chicago Cubs +1200
Boston Red Sox +1500
Toronto Blue Jays +1500
New York Mets +1800
Cincinnati Reds +2000
Seattle Mariners +2000
Washington Nationals +2000
Cleveland Indians +2500
Arizona Diamondbacks +3000
Colorado Rockies +3000
Chicago White Sox +3300
Los Angeles Angels +3300
Texas Rangers +3300
Philadelphia Phillies +4000
San Diego Padres +4000
Tampa Bay Rays +4000
Baltimore Orioles +5000
San Francisco Giants +5000
St. Louis Cardinals +5000
Detroit Tigers +6000
Kansas City Royals +6000
Pittsburgh Pirates +6000
Miami Marlins +8000

Odds taken July 21st.

The Yankees +650 odds are slightly shorter than the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros, and not surprisingly those three teams also have the shortest 2020 World Series odds.

New York hit 18 more home runs than Houston last season, and 27 more than Los Angeles.

Sluggers Everywhere

Seven Yankees hit at least 21 home runs in 2019, yet none ranked in the top-27 in slugging. That’s largely because Stanton appeared in only 18 games, while fellow masher Aaron Judge missed 60 contests, but the point is New York got consistent power from everywhere in the lineup.

Of those seven 20+ home run hitters from a year ago, six are back in 2020, and Stanton is firing on all cylinders. With so much depth, teams aren’t going to be able to afford to pitch around Stanton and Judge, and even if they do the rest of the lineup will make them pay.

Advanced projection systems have four Yankees hitting at least 10 home runs in the upcoming abbreviated 60-game season, but don’t be surprised if that number winds up being five or six.

A Very Favorable Schedule

Another reason to strongly consider New York to lead MLB in home runs is its schedule. The Yankees will play 40 games against the AL East and another 20 against the NL East, and of those nine opponents, five play in one of the 13 most hitter-friendly parks.

That stat could bear more weight depending on where the Toronto Blue Jays will play their home games, but if they end up at Camden Yards, which is now a possibility, you can boost New York’s home run projection.

Also working in New York’s favor is their actual opponents. Baltimore gave up the most home runs in 2019, while Philadelphia surrendered the fifth most, and Miami and Toronto both ranked top-13.

It also doesn’t hurt that Yankee stadium is very short down the right and left field lines, which gives their pull dominant hitters a boost and can only improve their home run prospects.

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

New York is a deserving favorite and it would shock the baseball world if they didn’t contend for the home run lead. But anything can happen in a shortened season. Stars can fall into untimely slumps, and a couple off weeks for the Bronx Bombers could be the difference between them finishing first or coming up short.

With so much potential volatility it makes sense to look at a team with more favorable odds, and that team is the Minnesota Twins. They led MLB in homers last season (hitting one more than the Yankees), yet are priced at +1000. They’re returning six of the eight players who hit 20+ home runs last season, and added former MVP Josh Donaldson.

They’ll play 20 games against Detroit and Kansas City, two of the projected worst teams in the league, and are the only squad that features five players projected to hit 10 or more home runs this season.

Pick: Minnesota Twins (+1000)

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