Why You Need To Be Backing This Player At +4000 To Win The Home Run Crown

The MLB season and the weather are heating up, which means it’s home run season across the league as baseballs continue to fly off the bat. New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has taken over the home run race as things stand, but there is still value to be had on the myriad of sluggers looking to chase him down. We look at Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers as a potential option to do so at +4000 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Rafael Devers (+4000)

Boston Red Sox star Rafael Devers is having another unbelievable season at the plate, leading the league in hits, doubles, and total bases. Although Fenway Park is unforgiving to left-handed hitters regarding home runs, he has still racked up the second-highest expected home runs in the MLB with 17.8, tied with Atlanta Braves slugger Austin Riley and only behind current leader Aaron Judge. His price at +4000 on the FanDuel Sportsbook puts him at the 13th-shortest odds, which is excellent value for a hitter slugging with the best of them this season. Players like Mookie Betts and Yordan Alvarez, who both have overachieved their expected home run values, are ahead of Devers on the home run leader odds, which is unexpected, and we believe it is unlikely to last.

The value comes in when you realize that Devers is heavily underperforming his xHR. He has hit 16 home runs on the season, 1.8 less than his 17.8 xHR, while 11 players sit behind him in xHR with the same or more home runs. Riley, who he is tied with in xHR, has 18 home runs and sits with slightly shorter odds at +3200. Add in that the Red Sox still have six games at the Baltimore Orioles, seven games at the New York Yankees, and a pair of games at the Cincinnati Reds, three of those ballparks rank in the top five for home runs for lefties above average based on a three-year rolling average.

Of course, Judge is the one who throws a wrench into things here. The Yankees outfielder is setting a blazing pace with 25 dingers in 60 games thus far on 27.2 xHR. He hasn’t slowed down much, with seven already in the first half of June. You never root for injuries, but Judge’s durability has been his most significant weakness over the years. With just two seasons with 112 or more games played of the six seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 season), he has been in the major leagues; he may find himself on the injured list in 2022. That could blow this race wide open, and with such massive odds on a player with the second-most expected home runs in the league, Devers feels worth a flyer at 40-to-1.