"It's outta here."
Las Vegas lists 50 players' odds to be the 2009 Home Run King. While I'm waiting to post Part 2 of the Mets/Phillies debate, I thought you would like to see those players 20/1 and less. If you don't see your favorite here, leave a comment and I'll let you know. No real surprises of those listed, but, at least to me, a lot of surprises for those who are over 20/1.
Carlos is 18/1. His 2008 season was cut short by an injury, so it might be possible to see an improvement from the 36 he blasted last year.
Adam comes in at 15/1, which I immediately thought was a great bet. This guy is a beast. Last year he clocked 40 round trippers for his fifth straight year. In Washington, he will be carrying the payload but having Ryan Zimmerman in front of him won't hurt.
Josh sits at 12/1 along with the next slugger, who you'll have to wait for. This could be the steal of the list, since Josh is only getting better. He plays in a launching pad and could get close to 50 this year. Last year he swatted 32.
Talk about a beast: Manny you can have at 12/1 as well. Big parks or small parks, it just doesn't matter. Manny has the best right-handed home run swing I have seen in watching baseball since the 50's. Last year, he knocked in 37. This year, I predict 40+.
Ryan is one of three players at 10/1. He is certainly getting better every year and will be a force in power hitting for the next decade. Last year, he crunched 37 dingers and looks to break 40 this season.
A second season in the AL should increase his total. He started slowly last year but his second half was spectacular. He is a lock as a 50-homer threat. Last year he hit 37 and will be aiming to increase his 2008 total.
In his second season, Evan has already established himself as a true power threat. Maybe not in 2009, but he will certainly lead the league in home runs a few times in the next 10-15 years. He is a stud. In 122 games last year, he hit 27 homers. Now add 35-40 more games this season and 40 is not out of the question.
Prince is tied with the next slugger at 7/1. The only reason he does not hit 40-45 home runs this year is because like "Pizza the Hut," he will eat himself out of the race. How Babe Ruth did it, I'll never know. Prince can belt them though. He dropped from 50 dingers in 2007 to 34 last year. Somewhere in the middle should be right for 2009.
There are beasts, and then there are Monsters. Albert and the next guy are certainly a tier above the rest of these batters. At 7/1, he is a very good bet and is getting as much, if not more, play at the sport books so far as the favorite. Eight straight seasons of 30 or more home runs, as well as four seasons over 40. In the last two years, his home runs dropped from 37 to 32, primarily because of an injury that most players choose to have surgically repaired, but Albert played through. In 2009, that is the only factor I see that would keep him out of the chase. A future Hall of Fame inductee for sure, if he gets 100 percent healthy, he might be the only threat to Hank Aaron's record. Don't correct me on that record.
No real surprise here. Ryan is the clear-cut favorite at 3/1. This guy is THE home run hitting machine. Always a late starter, Ryan still manages to hit colossal bombs both in the band box at Citizens Bank Park and everywhere else. In his first three full seasons with the Phillies, he has hit a total of 153 home runs. That's an average of 51 a season. I think the days of 70 home runs are over, but if anyone has a chance to string a few 60+ home run seasons, it's going to be Ryan Howard.