Over/Under Home Run Numbers for MLB's Top 25 Sluggers
Home runs are a thing of beauty in Major League Baseball.
From players who hit one out once in a blue moon to players who are expected to hit over 40, it's exciting every time the ball goes out.
So, what are the expectations for the top 25 bats in the league?
Adam Jones has slowly increased his power production over the last few years with the Baltimore Orioles.
He hit 19 each in 2009 and 2010, increasing to 25 in 2011 and 32 in 2012.
While it's likely Jones won't continually see increases over the course of his career, it's safe to say he's over in this instance.
Robinson Cano has been one of the more consistent power hitters for the New York Yankees.
He's averaged 28.75 home runs over the last four years, with 33 coming last year.
While injuries to teammates shouldn't factor into an individual's total home runs, somehow I just don't see Cano hitting that mark considering he's the offense for a while.
Injuries prevented Evan Longoria from really getting off the ground for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.
Last year saw him hit 17 home runs in 75 games, while he knocked 33 in 2011.
He seemed to be back in spring training with two long balls. However, I don't see him going over here.
Edwin Encarnacion came out of nowhere and hit 42 home runs last year for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Prior to that, his previous high was 26 in 2008.
While 42 was likely a fluke in 2012, he should still cover the spread in this one.
After being limited to 92 games in 2012, Jose Bautista looked to be back to his home run-hitting ways in the spring.
Of his 17 spring hits, six went over the fence, proving to his team that he's back.
From 2010-11, Bautista totaled 97 home runs (11.15 at-bats per home run). Last year, Bautista's 27 home runs gave him one every 12.29 at-bats.
The spring saw him belt home runs at a rate of one every 10 at-bats.
He should have no problem covering the spread on this one.
Adam Dunn is going to either knock it out of the park or strike out.
That's just how things work for the Chicago White Sox slugger.
After struggling in 2011, Dunn hit 41 home runs in 2012. Of course, he led the league with 222 strikeouts, but this isn't about strikeouts.
Outside of 2011, Dunn has covered the over/under total since 2004.
Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown with the Detroit Tigers last year and is perhaps the best hitter in baseball.
He's hit at least 30 home runs every year since 2007 but has only covered his over/under number three of those years.
Last year was a little different, however. Cabrera finally had some protection in the lineup with Prince Fielder and was able to see better pitches on a more consistent basis.
This year should be no different.
Speaking of protection for Cabrera, Prince Fielder is next on the list.
Fielder saw hit home-run total go down in 2012 once he moved to Detroit from Milwaukee.
Last year saw Fielder only hit 30 dingers, while 2011 saw him hit 38.
Sadly, this year will be no different for Fielder, as he'll miss the mark once again.
The first of a dangerously good Los Angeles Angels lineup, Albert Pujols was the prize free agent two years ago.
Pujols had a career-worst 30 home runs last year.
However, he has even more protection this year with Josh Hamilton in town.
Look for his numbers to regain their form this year.
It's a new year and Josh Hamilton has a new team.
He goes from one team where he had good protection in the lineup to another team with even more protection.
Hamilton hit a career-high 43 bombs last year with Texas.
He goes from a park that saw 1.168 homers per game to a park that saw 0.759 per game.
Will it make much of a difference?
My guess is no since three other Angels were able to hit 30 or more last year.
Mark Trumbo is probably one of the most under-the-radar power hitters in all of baseball.
He doesn't get the respect his teammates do, but he can hit just as many bombs as they can.
Trumbo led the team with 32 home runs last year while hitting 29 in 2011.
He has the power to do it again. With Hamilton in the lineup, we may see even more in 2013.
Mike Trout was called up from Triple-A last year and simply dominated from there, winning the AL Rookie of the Year and finishing second in the MVP voting.
Trout finished the year with 30 home runs.
This year should be no different, as Trout will get even more at-bats and should have better power numbers.
There isn't much of a book of Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Coming over from Cuba, Cespedes hit 23 home runs in his first season in the big leagues.
Based on that and the Oakland lineup not improving over the offseason, there's no way Cespedes covers this spread.
Adrian Beltre has had two good seasons with the Texas Rangers.
Beltre has averaged 34 home runs over the last two years and has been a force in the middle of the Texas lineup.
With Hamilton out of town, Beltre is going to be looked at even more to provide the offense.
Jason Heyward came into his own during his third season with the Atlanta Braves.
He hit 27 home runs while batting ay nearly every spot in the order.
This year will be a little different with B.J. and Justin Upton in town.
Heyward will likely see most of his time at the No. 2 spot in the order, but he should still show a lot of power.
Look for him to hit another career high in homers, going over 30 this year.
Justin Upton was once one of the most promising young stars in the game, but he struggled last year with Arizona and that promise was questioned.
Now with the Braves, Upton has seemed to find new life, with two early-season homers to go along with the six he hit during spring training.
Surrounded by a lineup that can hit for power, Upton could very well see a career high in homers as well.
Dare I say he may even approach 40?
The Miami Marlins have only one thing going for them and that's Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton is going to be the face of MLB in the very near future because of the power he displays at the plate.
In just 123 games last year, Stanton hit 37 home runs.
Add another 100 at-bats onto his total if he stays healthy all year, and Stanton could very likely reach 50 home runs.
When it comes to Ryan Howard, health is going to be the biggest question mark.
He's starting to get up there in age and his injury from the end of the 2011 season didn't set him up for success in 2012.
Howard had a career-low 14 home runs last year but also only played in 71 games.
If he can play a full season, he'll approach 30 home runs, but I think he gets injured at some point.
If there's one thing you can say about Bryce Harper, it's that he has a lot of passion for the game.
Harper had his struggles at times in 2012, but he ended the year with 22 home runs.
He's shown his power early on in 2013, belting solo home runs in his first two at-bats of the season.
But can he keep it up for the entire year?
My guess is he will. He has a full year under his belt and is a great student of the game.
As pitchers adjust to him, he will adjust to them.
With Joey Votto in town, Jay Bruce can sometimes get overlooked.
But the Cincinnati Reds outfielder is every bit of a power hitter as Votto is.
Bruce had 34 home runs last year during a season in which Votto didn't have his best year.
He sees the ball well, but I'm not sure that 32.5 is a great over/under number for him.
My guess is he'll get close but miss it my one or two.
Joey Votto did have an off year in 2012, only hitting 14 home runs.
However, he's back and stronger than ever as he looks to get back the numbers he had from 2008-11.
Votto hit a career-high 37 home runs in 2010 but hasn't hit in the 30s in any other year.
He'll be close to his over/under number as well but will surpass the goal unlike his teammate.
Ryan Braun should honestly have two MVP trophies on his mantle, but he was beat out last year by Buster Posey.
The Milwaukee Brewers right fielder has a ton of power to all fields, having only hit less than 30 home runs once in his career.
Last year, Braun had 41 bombs and will do more of the same this year.
Is Troy Tulowitzki truly back for the Colorado Rockies?
That's the question many fantasy owners were likely asking prior to their drafts this year.
Tulowitzki was limited to 47 games last year, when he hit just eight home runs.
This season, he's already hit two bombs, giving Colorado fans hope for this year.
Last year aside, Tulowitzki averaged 33 home runs in the three seasons prior, and there's no reason to believe he won't reach that goal once again.
Over the last few years, Adrian Gonzalez had a big advantage playing in Boston.
Now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gonzalez doesn't have a short right field to play with.
He has shown he can hit in pitcher-friendly parks, averaging 32 home runs a year while playing with San Diego.
He only hit three dingers in 36 games with the Dodgers last year, but 24.5 is such a low number for him.
If there's any player that would ever hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases, my money would be on Matt Kemp.
While injuries limited him to 23 home runs last year, Kemp should have no problem getting back to his normal numbers.
Some people may call it bold to predict this, but I believe Kemp will have the highest difference between his over/under number and his actual home-run total.